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May 18, 1970

Infectious Agents and Host Reactions

Author Affiliations

National Cancer Institute Bethesda, Md

JAMA. 1970;212(7):1217. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03170200081026

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Progress in understanding host defenses and infectious agents has been so rapid that it is difficult to keep up with recent developments. In this book, an all-star cast of contributors attempts to fill this gap. They cover an immense scope; viruses, be they "helper," "hybrid," ECHO, oncogenic, picorna-, or myxoviruses; bacteria, of which the least familiar are perhaps the mycoplasmas; and various body defenses, including chapters on interferon and the pathogenesis of fever.

The introductory essay on virus diseases by Sir Christopher H. Andrewes is a masterpiece of medical writing. Also outstanding is the overview of the newer immunology by Sir Macfarlane Burnet, and an up-to-date account by Robert Good and his associates of human immunological protection against infection and malignancy, as revealed by errors of nature—rare inborn immunological disorders, as Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, ataxiatelangiectasia and agammaglobulinemia.

Many of the chapters begin with fascinating historical reviews, sometimes including personal experiences not