June 1981

Diagnosis and Treatment of Immunodeficiency Diseases

Author Affiliations

University of Rochester Medical Center 601 Elmwood Ave Rochester, NY 14642


by G. L. Asherson and A. D. B. Webster, 390 pp, $72, Oxford, England, Blackwell Scientific Publications, 1980.

Am J Dis Child. 1981;135(6):583-584. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1981.02130300079035

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An exciting interplay between clinical and research immunology has characterized the history of human immunodeficiency diseases. Bruton's description in Pediatrics in 1952 of a boy with recurrent infections who lacked γ-globulin stimulated study of inborn errors of immunity that cause susceptibility to recurrent infections. The early interpretations and investigations of these patients demonstrated that immunity could be dissociated into two types: cellular, or T-cell immunity as it is termed today, and humoral, or antibody immunity. The clinical description of thymic aplasia helped to confirm the role for this organ whose function had been undefined until a few years previously. Investigations of chronic granulomatous disease of childhood helped elucidate the metabolic pathway of bacterial killing by phagocytic cells. An understanding of the pathogenesis of immunodeficiency diseases stimulated efforts to correct these defects and ushered in the era of lymphoid transplantation. In recent years, the necessity for improve tissue typing has led

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