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The Immune Response to Infection

Editors: Stefan H. E. Kaufmann1, Barry T. Rouse2, David L. Sacks3
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Affiliations: 1: Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology Berlin, Germany; 2: College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee Knoxville, Tennessee; 3: Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, National Institutes of Health Bethesda, Maryland
Content Type: Monograph
Format: Electronic, Hardcover
Publication Year: 2011

Category: Immunology; Clinical Microbiology

With an approach that covers the range from basic research to clinical applications, examines the mechanisms of both the innate and adaptive immune systems as they relate to infection and disease. The book not only explores the underlying mechanisms of immunity, but also the many sequelae of host-pathogen interactions, ranging from the sterile eradication of the invader, to controlled chronic infection, to pathologic corollaries of the host-pathogen crosstalk. It also explores the pathogenesis of certain autoimmune disorders and cancers that are induced by infectious agents but then become independent of the infection process.

Most chapters consider host-pathogen interactions in the context of the broad divisions of the microbial world-viruses, bacteria, and parasites-and do not confine their discussions to any individual pathogen. However, the book does dedicate special attention to the three major killer diseases-HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria-and the influenza viruses. All of the chapters consider the special attributes that make each pathogen difficult to control, building a thorough discussion of current prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines and the prospects for future vaccine development.

By reviewing the entire spectrum of immunology as it relates to infectious agents, this book underscores the important relationship between molecular biology and clinical immunology. It is recommended equally for researchers and students who focus on the pathogen and those who examine the immune system: immunologists, molecular microbiologists, and clinicians specializing in infectious disease.

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Microbiology Today

09 June 2013

The scope and sweep of this volume is highly impressive, amounting to nothing less than the most authoritative research monograph on the immune system and infection of which this reviewer is currently aware. While this general topic is adequately covered at a basic level in many immunology and microbiology textbooks, a comprehensive, advanced treatment of this area appears to be lacking and this volume certainly fills that niche. The book is organized into 10 sections and comprises a total of 51 chapters which provide a wide-ranging coverage of the immune system and microbial and parasitic diseases. Given that this is a multi-author work, the style and presentation of each chapter is remarkably consistent, for which the editors must take great credit. The illustrations are in monochrome, which was an initial disappointment; however, use of airbrushing and shading on many figures gives a tasteful appearance.  

The book commences with a broad overview (9 chapters) of host defence which sets the scene well. Overview chapters on the major bacterial, viral, parasite, fungal and prion pathogens then follow. Detailed chapters on innate and acquired immunity, pathology and pathogenesis of microbial infections, and evasion/suppression of the immune response provide an excellent and current view of these areas. There are interesting sections on genetics of the antimicrobial response, autoimmunity and cancer, immune intervention and vaccinology, and a final section on the major killers: HIV, tuberculosis, malaria and influenza. The authors of individual chapters are eminent in their fields and the editors seem to have secured the major research groups in each area as contributors. Inevitably, in a large multi-author work of this sort, there will be questions as to how up to date it is by the time it was published in 2011. Cited references appear to go up to 2009, which is good, but this is a volume that will need updating soon (as the editors point out in their preface, this book builds on previous ASM publications in 2002 and 2004).  

Finally, the cost probably precludes personal purchase for most microbiologists, but this book would seem to be an essential addition to the library of any institution involved in microbiology research.

Society for General Microbiology: Microbiology Today

Reviewer: Eric Blair, University of Leeds

Review Date: Unknown

Doody Enterprises

09 June 2013

At A Glance

This new volume both combines two previous ASM Press books ("Immunology of Infectious Diseases" and "The Innate Immune Response to Infection"), integrating the innate immune response and the adaptive immune response to infection into a synthetic narrative, and bring everything up to date, incorporating the numerous important developments that have occurred in this most dynamic sub-discipline of microbiology.

Description

This comprehensive book details the advances in our understanding of innate and adaptive immune responses to infectious organisms, and how these advances are leading to novel therapeutic intervention strategies for infectious diseases and their associated pathologies. Written by distinguished experts, this book is divided into nine sections ranging from general aspects of host defense to specific acquired immunity, immunopathology, and immune intervention.

Purpose

The editors' stated purpose is to provide a comprehensive update on infectious disease immunology. Given the exponential rate at which knowledge has been expanding in the study of host response to infection, and the fact that previous books addressing similar topics are sorely out of date, this is a much-needed resource.

Audience

Their goal is to provide a holistic approach to the study of host/pathogen interactions, thus bringing together the fields of microbiology and immunology. While this book will be best appreciated by professional immunologists, it also will be useful for traditional microbiologists who want a better understanding of host/pathogen interactions as well as for advanced students of immunology who want a comprehensive compilation covering the field.

Features

The book begins with fascinating descriptions of invertebrate immunity to infectious organisms and evolution of the immune response and chapters on the different categories of pathogens, then carries on through innate and adaptive immune responses to these distinct categories of pathogens. These are followed by important sections on the pathology of infections and pathogen evasion of host response, and autoimmunity, and chapters on immune intervention that document the outstanding progress that is being made in the field. The book ends on the more humbling note offour specific infectious diseases -- HIV, TB, malaria, and flu -- that are still causing huge worldwide morbidity and mortality despite extensive, ongoing research efforts. Overall, the book is informative and comprehensive. Somewhat disappointing, however, is the lack of color figures; color is limited to a small number of color plates clustered together in the center of the book, where their separation from the relevant text limits their value.

Assessment

This is an outstanding and comprehensive overview of our current knowledge of the immune response to infection. Although excellent books like Immunology of Infectious Diseases, also edited by Kaufmann (ASM Press, 2002), precede it, these are already too outdated to be of much current use. In addition, although there are many other books that address some of the topics in this book, this comprehensive publication has the potential to be for infectious disease immunology what Fields Virology is for virology.

Doody Enterprises

Reviewer: Patricia Fitzgerald-Bocarsly, PhD (University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-NJMS)

Review Date: Unknown

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