• Volume 59 , Number 1
  • Page: 144

Book reviews

Bryceson, Anthony and Pfaltzgaff, Roy E. Leprosy. 3rd. ed. London: Churchill Livingstone, 1989. Softbound, 240 pp., some color illustrations. Includes bibliographies and index. ISBN 0-443-03373-0. (Can be obtained from The Leprosy Mission International, 80 Windmill Road, Bcntford, Middlesex TW8 0QH, U. K. Cost for developing countries £2. 00; other countries £9. 95)

Many small textbooks dealing with leprosy arc now readily available. Of all of them, the third edition ofLeprosy b yBryceson and Pfaltzgraffis one of the best. It has 16 chapters and has been expand ed from 155 pages (second edition) to 240 pages. Since 1979 when the last edition of this book was published, there have been many advances in the understand ing of leprosy, especially in the fields of transmission, microbiology, immunology and treatment. The book has been thoroughly revised and brought up to date. Some chapters have been expand ed and reorganized, and a new chapter on Mycobacterium leprae has been added.

The chapter on signs and symptoms is well illustrated with 24 photographs. Although they are in black and white, they are very clear and well-chosen illustrations of different forms of clinical leprosy. The chapter on diagnosis describes the clinical examination of the patient step by step and is easy to follow, especially for the medical student and /or resident being initiated into the study of leprosy. The chapter on immunology has an introduction to basic immunology relevant to leprosy which helps to understand the varied clinical picture of leprosy and the complexity of the reactive phase. The chapter on treatment is updated to include multidrug therapy, its benefits and its problems. Brief accounts of experimental leprosy, epidemiology and control are given, which serve as a good introduction and should stimulate the interested student to read further on the subject.

A number of relevant references are given for further reading at the end of each chapter. The list under some of them could be augmented.

This is an excellent, well-illustrated, concise textbook of leprosy. Written by two eminent teachers of leprosy, it will be most useful to medical students, physicians, and scientists interested in the study of the subject and will be well received. -Charles K. Job, M. D., F. R. C. Path.

Koticha, K. K. Leprosy; A Concise Text. Bombay: Darshan K. Koticha, 1990. Hardcover, 410 pp., illustrations (73 color and 43 black and white), 1000+ references, appendices, and index. Order from D. K. Koticha, Superintendent's Bungalow, Acworth Leprosy Hospital, Wadala, Bombay 400031, India. Price: Rs. 780; US$60; U. K. E31 (includes postage).

The writing of a comprehensive leprosy textbook by a single author in the 1990s is a phenomenal undertaking. Most leprosy workers are only comfortable writing about a relatively small part of the disease, such as therapy, rehabilitation, epidemiology, etc. Dr. K. K. Koticha, Superintendent of the Acworth Leprosy Hospital in Bombay, India, has written and published Leprosy; A Concise Text with 34 chapters, 13 appendices, 410 pages, 73 color and 43 black and white illustrations, and over 1000 references. The textbook covers all aspects of the disease and, although the author acknowledges many individuals as having contributed suggestions and opinions, the scope of the author's writing is a monument to Dr. Koticha's encyclopedic knowledge of the disease. Dr. Koticha has obviously spent a lifetime of careful study not only of the clinical disease but of its formidable literature, both current and historical. He seems equally comfortable discussing the latest synthetic peptides of Mycobacterium leprae antigenic epitopes and the proper means of testing a very young child for impairment of heat and cold sensation. The chapters are concise and accompanied by a detailed outline. The appendices contain a wealth of practical information, including a variety of examination questions on leprosy. Dr. Koticha is to be congratulated on his book. May it, and its author, enjoy every success. - RCH

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