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WAO Medical Book Review

Janeway's Immunobiology, Seventh Edition
2007 Garland Science / Taylor & Francis Group
Edited by Kenneth Murphy, Paul Travers and Mark Walport
ISBN: 978-0-8153-4123-9

Available from: Garland Science
$95.95 USD for Book and CD-ROM

Dr Sandhya Limaye, MBBS FRACP FRCPA
Department of Immunology
Liverpool Hospital
Liverpool, New South Wales

Retitled Janeway's Immunobiology in memory of Charles A. Janeway who originated this classic textbook series, the seventh edition of Janeway's Immunobiology provides a comprehensive introduction to, and overview of all aspects of the immune system in both health and disease. All chapters have been revised for the seventh edition, with the inclusion of updates on areas such as NK cells, Toll-like receptors, the role of AID in antibody diversity, antigen cross-presentation and celiac disease to highlight just a few.

The textbook is designed to increase the reader's understanding of the complexities of the immune system presented from the perspective of its basic protective function in mediating interactions between host and environment. This allows for a consistent approach to the discussion of diverse aspects of immunology such as allergy, graft rejection and tumour immunology which are introduced as variations in the presented antigen.

The book is aimed as an introductory text to a target audience of medical students, undergraduate and graduate biology students and other scientists. However its extensive coverage of innate and adaptive immunobiology, an overview of in vivo and in vitro diagnostic immunoassays, and updated clinical chapters ensures its appeal to a much broader readership, including clinical immunologists and others with expertise in the field.

The breadth of information required of an introductory immunology textbook is covered well, with the organization of the text into clearly divided parts and chapters. The writing style is simple and easy to understand, and well-complemented by numerous colour diagrams and tables on almost every page. Extensive and up-to-date reference lists at the conclusion of each chapter are also helpfully subdivided into chapter sections, and direct the interested reader to both current and topical research findings as well as comprehensive published reviews. Five appendices in mostly tabulated format allow for the inclusion of detailed but readily accessible information on topics such as CD antigens and an extensive list of cytokines.

The highly acclaimed accompanying CD-ROM, Immunobiology Interactive, from previous editions is once again a standout feature. It includes all figures and tables from the book pre-loaded into Powerpoint® slide format, thus providing an invaluable resource to anyone delivering educational lectures or multi-media presentations. Of even greater visual appeal on the disc however, are the updated and enhanced immunological animations and videos with voice-over narration.

This is an outstanding textbook of immunology that thoroughly deserves its reputation as an authoritative, accurate and up-to-date standard. It is highly recommended as either an initial introduction to immunology, as well as to those wishing to further their knowledge and develop a deeper understanding of the subject.