Infections in Pregnancy.

Infections in Pregnancy. – book reviews

Patricia Evans

Infections in Pregnancy

Edited by Larry Gilstrap III and Sebastian Faro. Pp. 345. Price, $79.95. 2d ed. Wiley, 605 Third Ave., New York, NY 10158, 1997.

This textbook on infections in pregnancy is a readable resource for family physicians practicing obstetrics. The authors contend that their purpose is not to create a league of infectious disease experts, but to give “a basic understanding of the pathogenesis, diagnosis, possible adverse fetal and newborn effects, and treatment of the more common infections encountered during pregnancy.” By discussing the range of infections from candidiasis to babesiosis, the authors largely succeed.

The textbook begins with a section containing general information on the microflora of the genital tract and antibiotic use in pregnancy. Several chapters that follow cover common infections such as acute chorioamnionitis and postpartum endometritis. The ensuing chapters address specific types of diseases such as syphilis and herpes.

The organization of the individual chapters varies, but each chapter ends with a summary of salient points. The summary and the liberal use of diagnosis and management algorithms allow for quick scanning of the contents of the chapter.

The strengths of this textbook are its readability, the breadth of infections covered and the ease at which information is gleaned from the chapters. Readers should be prepared for the level of detail provided, as it is greater than the average family practitioner needs. In addition, the occasional lapse into a litany of studies gives the appearance that the authors may be aiming to create a league of experts after all.

A final consideration is the fact that the treatment of infectious diseases is constantly evolving so that treatment recommendations may not be current. For instance, since the publication of this book, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a new set of treatment guidelines for sexually transmitted diseases. In the chapter on vaginitis, the treatment listed in the algorithm for bacterial vaginitis is clindamycin 2 percent vaginal cream, which is no longer advocated. While this book can be used as a reference text for the pathogensis of infections, the practitioner needs to supplement it with more recent reference materials.

In summary, while I would not recommend this as a core reference textbook for physicians practicing obstetrics, it may be a useful addition to an existing reference library.


Georgetown University Medical Center Washington, D. C

COPYRIGHT 1998 American Academy of Family Physicians

COPYRIGHT 2000 Gale Group