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World Allergy Organization
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WAO Medical Book Review

The Immune Response: Basic and Clinical Principles
By: Tak W. Mak and Mary E. Saunders

ISBN-13: 978-0-12-088451-3
ISBN-10: 0-12-088451-8

List price: $139.95 USD
Available from: Elsevier

Reviewer:  Sam Mehr, MBBS, BMedSci
The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Westmead, NSW, Australia

Description:
The majority of individuals studying or working in the field of Immunology would be familiar with the texts of Roitt, Abbas and Janeway. Outside of these texts, there are few other textbooks that are able to provide a comprehensive overview of Basic and Clinical Immunology. This textbook is an important contribution, providing the reader with a clear, complete and concise overview of the immune system in both health and disease.

Purpose:
The book is divided into two parts, Basic Immunology (Part I) and Clinical Immunology (Part II). The purpose is to introduce the reader to the basic concepts of immunology before delving into more advanced immunological topics. The establishment of these concepts enables the reader to understand how derangements of these basic mechanisms can then lead to clinical disease.

Audience:
The target audience is wide, and includes undergraduates, graduates and seasoned clinical and laboratory Immunologists.

Features:
The authors have written all the chapters and have had chapters reviewed by sub-specialists in the field. Each chapter starts with a table of contents outlining the material to be covered. Historical notes are often provided at the start of each chapter, enabling the reader to comprehend how various immunological concepts came into being and how these have changed with time. The text is clear and succinct and this combined with the excellent illustrations and tables make this an easy read. The authors direct the reader to other suggested reading material at the end of each chapter for those who require an even more meticulous level of detail.

Assessment:
This is a valuable book for any veteran immunologist or student of immunology.  The authors’ ability to make difficult concepts easy to understand through clear explanations and illustrations is its major attraction.