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Year : 2003  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 296

Book Review

Department of Laboratory Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi - 110 019, India

Correspondence Address:
Department of Laboratory Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi - 110 019, India

How to cite this article:
Singh S. Book Review. Indian J Med Microbiol 2003;21:296

How to cite this URL:
Singh S. Book Review. Indian J Med Microbiol [serial online] 2003 [cited 2021 Feb 25];21:296. Available from:

R Karyakarte, A Damle. Medical Parasitology. 1st edition. Books & Allied (P) Ltd., Kolkata, 2003. Rs.205/-
Human parasitic infections are major health concerns which kill millions of people and cause prolonged morbidity. The problem is more serious in developing countries. Added to that the HIV/AIDS epidemic has further aggravated this problem. Fortunately, most of these diseases are preventable by adapting simple means of hygiene and using safe drinking water. However, the knowledge about these parasitic diseases, mode of their transmission, methods of diagnosis and treatment requires to be imparted by medical and public health persons. Therefore, it is extremely important that medical and para-medical personnel have up-to-date knowledge about these parasitic diseases, their mode of transmission, newer methods of diagnosis, conventional and newer treatment modalities and prevention strategies. In this direction, this book may prove an ideal source of knowledge.
Some of the chapters such as Malaria and Nematode in this book have been extensively and very nicely written. The chapter on Arthropods is also sufficiently descriptive for the level of medical undergraduates. The authors have tried their best to fetch the information from modern methods of communication, i.e. Internet, and have very honestly acknowledged the same. The presentation of the book is very good with coloured tables and flowcharts. Each book chapter starts with learning objectives, which is a very useful incorporation. The authors have also incorporated chapters on Multiple Choice Questions, Short Answer Questions and Long Answer Questions, besides the main book.
Some limitations of the book include the estimates of prevalence of important parasitic diseases shown in the [Table:1]. These are incorrect and the year of estimates is also not given. Because of that the information becomes redundant and not useful. For example the estimates of Guinea worm infection is shown to be 2-4 crore, while the fact is that in year 2001 only 60,000 cases were recorded. Similarly, figures for Leishmaniasis and Trypnosomiasis are also not correct. Moreover, the gap between the minimum and maximum figures is too wide and seemingly arbitrary.
Chapter-2 : The protozoa : Amoebae - This chapter has colourful tables and figures which are very pertinent and useful. However, the flagellates have also not been covered as one would expect in a medical book. AIDS and Amoebiasis have not received due importance, even if one agrees with the authors' contention that the book is written for medical graduates.
Haemoflagellates are covered very superficially. A world map and map of India with epidemiological pattern of various Leishmania and Trypnosoma spp. would have been more useful.
The Tables in Medical Parasitology chapter (which are not numbered), on page-236 shows that Taenia saginata and T. solium are transmitted only by beef and pork respectively, but the fact is that the most important source of infection are food and water particularly the green vegetables, salads. On the next page only three parasites have mentioned to be transmitted by sexual route, but authors, it seems have expected from readers that sexual route means only heterosexual route. The homosexual route and associated parasites was extremely important entity, which is not given due importance in this book.
Although the information is available in individual chapters, chapter dedicated to opportunistic parasites would have been good to include in this book. This is important because students must be taught about the varied clinical manifestations, unusual modes of transmission and difficulties in diagnosis and treating these parasitic diseases in AIDS patients.
In conclusion, this book is a good recapitulation source for examination going students. 

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2004 - Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow

Online since April 2001, new site since 1st August '04