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"More than 20 years after the discoveries of HTLV and HIV, there appears to be a need for a consolidated reference of many of the standard and not-so-standard protocols used to characterize the human retroviruses. This book, containing some 37 detailed protocols provided by multinational authors in two parts, does an admirable job. Part I, therefore, includes guidance on isolation of HTLV, HIV and Human Foamy Virus (HFV) from peripheral blood, lymph nodes, CNS tissue and genital secretions (semen, vaginal fluids). It also describes a variety of molecular methods (largely PCR-based) to assess viral levels, integration status and drug sensitivity, plus quantification by antigen detection. At some 313 pages, Part I forms the substantial portion of the book. Part II (168 pages) guides on assessing cell and receptor tropism, construction and utilization of molecular clones and also use of microarrays to look at host and viral gene expression. The book on the whole is well illustrated with clear photographs and diagrams to support the detailed methodology, and the references at the end of each protocol are comprehensive. "-SGM Quarterly