Staphylococcus Pyogenes

by Stephen D. Elek. 767 pages, illustrated. Edinburgh and London, E. & S. Livingstone Ltd., (Williams & Wilkins Co., Baltimore exclusive U. S. agents), 1959. $15.00

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Dr. Elek has written an impressive and scholarly book on the biology of the staphylococcus and the peculiar host-parasite relationships which appear to surround infections produced by this microorganism. This is a book which will be warmly received by all investigators struggling with the mysteries of staphylococcal disease. For the first time, the diffuse and confused experimental literature on staphylococcal disease has been collected, organized, and critically analyzed.

The chapters on antigenic structure, virulence and disease, and resistance and immune phenomena seem particularly excellent. Many ghosts have been laid to rest in these sections, and Dr. Elek's broad scientific orientation shows in many of his comments.

In his introduction Dr. Elek modestly claims to dissociate himself from the experimental studies that he reports, but it is pleasing to find that this is not the case. The author's pithy and concise comments on experimental studies are refreshing and valuable, and help to show the reader Dr. Elek's personal orientation.