Despite enormous advances in diagnosis, treatment, and prevention during the twentieth century, physicians caring for patients with infectious diseases today must cope with extraordinary new challenges, including a never-ending deluge of new information, the rapid evolution of the microorganisms responsible for these diseases, and formidable time and cost constraints. In no other area of medicine is the differential diagnosis so wide, and often the narrowing of the differential to a precise infection caused by a specific organism with established antimicrobial susceptibilities is a matter of great urgency.
To inform crucial decisions about management, today's care providers are typically turning to a variety of sources, including both print publications and online services. Our goal in publishing Harrison's Infectious Diseases as a stand-alone volume is to provide students and practitioners with a single convenient resource that quickly yields accurate, accessible, up-to-date information to meet immediate clinical needs and that presents this information in the broader context of underlying epidemiologic, pathophysiologic, and genetic factors. The authors of the chapters herein are experts in their fields whose points of view represent decades of medical practice and a comprehensive knowledge of the literature. The specific recommendations of these authorities regarding diagnostic options and therapeutic regimens—including drugs of choice, doses, durations, and alternatives—take into account not just the trends and concerns of the moment but also the longer-term factors and forces that have shaped present circumstances and will continue to influence future developments. Among these forces are the changing prevalences, distributions, features, and management alternatives in different regions of the world; accordingly, these topics are addressed from an international perspective.
Prominent among the 137 chapters in this volume, that on HIV infections and AIDS by Anthony S. Fauci and H. Clifford Lane (Chap. 97) is widely considered to be a classic in the field. Its clinically pragmatic focus, along with its comprehensive and analytical approach to the pathogenesis of HIV disease, has led to its use as the sole complete reference on HIV/AIDS in medical schools. Also particularly comprehensive in scope are the classic chapters on tuberculosis (Chap. 74, authored by Mario C. Raviglione) and malaria (Chap. 123, by Nicholas J. White and Joel G. Breman). In a new chapter on Zika virus infection and associated congenital abnormalities (Chap. 108), David M. Morens and Anthony S. Fauci provide critical information on the history, pandemic spread, pathogenesis, clinical manifestations, and severe congenital complications of Zika. A new chapter by Aaron S. Bernstein on the impact of climate change on infectious disease (Chap. 8) provides essential information on a topic that has implications for global populations in both the present and the future. Another new chapter by Andrew W. Artenstein (Chap. 9) tackles timely issues related to infections in military veterans returning from foreign wars. The substantially updated chapter by Jeffrey I. Gordon and Rob Knight, "The Human Microbiome" (Chap. 3), summarizes and offers expert perspective on recent revolutionary information elucidating the intricate, critical relationship of the human body with its trillions of resident microbes and the associated microbial genes. In his updated, highly practical chapter (Chap. 17), Robert A. Weinstein addresses health care–associated infections, a topic of enormous significance in terms of patient care in general and antimicrobial resistance in particular.
Harrison's Infectious Diseases is available both in print and as an eBook obtainable via McGraw-Hill or via the Apple iBookstore. With a full-color format, this volume offers abundant illustrations that provide key information in a readily understandable format. Two chapters comprise atlases of images that can be invaluable in clinical assessments: Chap. 14 presents images of rashes associated with fever, while Chap. 125 shows blood smears of the various stages of the parasites causing malaria and babesiosis. Self-assessment questions and answers appear after the appendix at the end of the book.
The Editors thank our authors for their hard work in distilling their experience and the relevant literature into this volume, which we hope you will enjoy using as an authoritative source of current information on infectious diseases.
Dennis L. Kasper, MD
Anthony S. Fauci, MD