SPECIAL COMMUNICATIONS: Book Reviews
This is the fourth edition of a truly comprehensive textbook on immunoassays. The previous edition was published in 2005.
The purpose is to provide a reference for everything you might want to know about immunoassays. Given their heavy use in the clinical laboratory, this is a very worthy objective well met by this edition.
This book is intended for anyone interested in immunoassays. This audience spans researchers interested in developing such assays to manufacturers marketing immunoassay testing devices and to clinicians interested in how immunoassays work and how to interpret their results. The 124 authors are an interesting mix of those from academic and commercial environments.
Wow, talk about an encyclopedic book! With approximately 1000 pages, it is a little heavy to lift, but that is a minor detail given that the book is chock-full of information. It is very telling that the first chapter is titled “How to Use This Book”. It is a wise guide and roadmap for how to best maximize your reading experience. The book starts out very basic with principles of immunoassays (“Immunoassays for Beginners”) and builds progressively to discuss immunoassay components, configurations, development, implementation, product technology, and applications other than clinical chemistry and concludes with 23 chapters on clinical applications to human disease. The section on immunoassay configurations is breathtaking, moving from traditional immunoassay formats to a glimpse of new technology and what is in store for the future (e.g., “lab on a chip”, biosensors, surface plasmon resonance, digital enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay). I particularly liked the section on product technology (19 chapters). If you have ever wondered about what goes on “under the hood” of your big immunoanalyzers, this is the section for you. There are concise descriptions of each platform, many written by leaders from various companies. One can quickly compare features of different commercially available instrumentations. The final section on the application of immunoassays to human diseases is very broad. Although each chapter touches on specific diseases or organ systems, you will need to go to a more clinical disease-oriented book to get in-depth, nuanced detail. As an example, hepatitis (B, C, and D) is covered in 10 pages, and two chapters are simply titled “Bacterial Diseases” (nine pages) and “Viral Diseases” (eight pages).
This is the single “go-to” book for any questions regarding immunoassays. If this is an area of interest for you, you must have this edition.
Reviewed by:Valerie Ng, PhD, MD (Alameda County Medical Center/Highland Hospital)