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The central thesis of this book is that the immune system exists to protect the host from infection and that its evolutionary history was shaped by this challenge. Other aspects of immunology (for example allergy, graft rejection etc) are variations on the basic protective function. The first part of the book summarises the basic immunological concepts and introduces the main 'players'. The middle three parts deal with main aspects of adaptive immunity. The last part integrates the material at the level of the complete organism in both health and disease. A major feature of the book are the superb four-colour line drawings depicting the immunological processes. Each chapter ends with an extensive list of references and further reading. The book ends with a 20 page glossary. Unlike some of its competitors this book was written by just four main co-authors (although drawing on expert advice from many colleagues) and so has great consistency and cohesiveness.
Part I: An introduction to immunobiology and innate immunity Basic concepts in immunology. Innate immunity. Part II: The recognition of antigen Antigen recognition by B and T cell receptors. The generation of Lymphocyte antigen receptors. Antigen presentation to T lymphocytes. Part III: The development of mature lymphocyte receptor repertoires Signaling through immune system receptors. The development and survival of lymphocytes. Part IV: The adaptive immune response T-cell mediated immunity. The humoral immune response. Adaptive immunity to infection. Part V: The immune system in health and disease Failure of host defense mechanisms. Allergy and hypersensitivityAutoimmunity and transplantation.. Manipulation of the immune response. Part VI: Where the immune system came from and where is immunology going Evolution Appendices The immunologists' toolbox. List of current CDs. Cytokines and their receptors. Chemokines and their receptors.
"Treats the subject of immunology with freshness and vigour and enthusiasm [...] Abundantly illustrated [...] As up to date as a textbook can be [...] clearly written and complete."
- The New England Journal of Medicine