In 1978 the forerunner of this book appeared as Laboratory Methods in Antimicrobial Therapy (Editors Reeves, Philips, Williams and Wise). In its Foreword Professor L.P. Garrod likened an antimicrobial prescriber who lacked laboratory assistance to a mariner without a chart of compass. It is certainly true that in antimicrobial chemotherapy there is an extremely close link between the laboratory and the prescriber, and this may be as true today as it was in 1978. Indeed as the choice of therapeutic agent becomes more limited by the greater frequency of antimicrobial resistance, it could be said that the link between the prescriber and the laboratory is becoming all the more important. Chemotherapy is a rapidly developing area and assay methodology too is leaping into the next century. Assay methodologies in the clinical situation have changed considerably. Twenty years ago both chromatographic, including high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and immunological assays were in their infancy. The drugs themselves have changed also: the fluoroquinolones were as yet undeveloped and some compounds such as choramphenicol were enjoying greater use than they are today. This long awaited new volume comprises 19 chapters relevant to the subject of assays and pharmacology of antimicrobials. With all the chapters written by experts in the field, the general chapters cover: clinical aspects of assays (therapeutic monitoring); pharmacology and pharmacokinetics; quality assurance; principles of bioassay, immunoassay and high performance liquid chromatography; enzyme-based assays and assays in biological samples other than blood. There are chapters on the main groups of antimicrobals which bring together summaries of their structural, chemical and pharmacokinetic properties and provide details of available assay methods.