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A Color Atlas of Comparative Pathologyof Pulmonary TuberculosisThe CRC Press, an imprint of the Taylor and Francis Group, released A Color Atlas of Comparative Pathology of Pulmonary Tuberculosis in 2011. The atlas was edited by Franz Joel Leong, Veronique Dartois, and Thomas Dick, all of whom work with the Novartis Institute for Tropical Disease (NITD), as well as contributors working worldwide in fields such as pathology, microbiology, and parasitology. The NITD works on pharmacologic treatments and preventions for diseases such as tuberculosis, dengue, and malaria found more commonly in the third world countries, and often not thought of in the more developed regions of the world.

This atlas is sectioned into two broad topics, the first being the process of discovery and development of drugs for the “neglected” diseases of the world, generally in third world regions. Chapter One provides a brief but excellent background regarding diseases lacking attention, prevention, and adequate therapy. Lack of attention is explained in relationship to current economics and also resistance development by the infective organism—which was previously not thought feasible. References on the many neglected diseases of the world are noted in conclusion of the first chapter.

The second section discusses in text and with gross pathology and photomicrographs, the pathology and pathophysiology of tuberculosis in six select species: human, monkey, rabbit, guinea pig, rat, and mouse. Chapter Four reviews basic human lung anatomy and histology, which also provides background for each of the subsequent species discussed. The concept of primary versus secondary tuberculosis in the human in Chapter Five provides an interesting and insightful look at the complexities of the tuberculin organism and the physiologic response of the patient to this devastating disease.

The remaining chapters discuss select laboratory species with comparable disease processes to humans in an effort to provide researchers additional data with which to formulate prevention and treatment models. As tuberculosis disease expression is difficult to standardize in laboratory animal models for many reasons; cross comparison of test results between species and even among the same species can be difficult. Some pathologic changes in human lung tissue cannot be reproduced in research animals which further hampers the drug discovery process. However the atlas provides ample photographs and discussion of variable pathology throughout each chapter with both strengths and weaknesses of the animal model and comparisons between the represented species.

This book is an excellent introduction to pulmonary tuberculosis and the physiologic, pathologic, and political hurdles as to why it has been such a difficult disease to contend with. The authors explain the intricacies of the tuberculin bacterium, the host defenses, and the theories behind current treatment modalities.

The atlas is designed as a concise resource for researchers working in the field and the laboratory to evaluate the pulmonary pathologic response to the Mycobacterium organism and design more successful treatment and disease eradication for human and animal species. The multitude of photomicrographs and gross pathology photographs are of excellent quality and well-labeled. The text is well written, organized in an easy to read format, and well-referenced for further research.

Sandra L. Jex is a veterinarian and consultant.

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