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WAO Medical Book Review

Immunity; The Immune Response in Infectious and Inflammatory Disease
Authors: Anthony L DeFranco, Richard M Locksley, Miranda Robertson

Available from: New Science Press Ltd, 2007
List Price: 49.95 USD

Brad Frankum
Clinical Immunologist, and Professor of Clinical Education, University of Western Sydney, Campbelltown, NSW, Australia

This first edition is part of the "Primers in Biology" series, with an emphasis on immunobiology rather than clinical immunology. The design is unique, with information generally condensed into reasonably brief paragraphs, and accompanied by 367 high quality illustrations that are also available for teaching purposes on line.

The strength of this new textbook lies in the large amount of authoritative information contained in a concise format. Those with some background knowledge will be able to update and refresh, aided by the provision of handy definitions and literature references at the bottom of most pages. This will prove a valuable resource for those involved in the teaching of immunology. For students new to the subject, the concise presentation may prove a barrier to understanding a complex topic.

The role of the immune system in the pathophysiology of infection is well covered. The section covering the interaction of the immune system with the inflammatory response is certainly superior to most of its competitors. As with many of its peer texts, however, the coverage of autoimmune disease and clinical allergy is somewhat cursory, with brief mention only of treatment options. Information on therapeutics is probably best sought elsewhere.

Immunity will appeal to those who appreciate a blend of economy of narrative, and diversity of illustrative techniques. A large amount of up-to-date basic immunologic science is included. This book will prove a useful addition to the existing immunobiology literature.