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April 3, 1991

The Corpuscles Meet the Virus Invaders

JAMA. 1991;265(13):1742. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03460130134039

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


This is an entertaining story of how a child catches a cold via a sneeze from a friend, through illness and on to recovery.

The text and clever illustrations clearly delineate the steps of viral attachment, infection, and the immune response to fight the virus and thus restore health. Each of the white cells is a charming cartoon character who fights as part of the defense forces, each with a specific role. An awful lot of anatomy, physiology, immunology, and cell biology are included within the context of the story.

This would be a great text for fifthand sixth-grade science classes. Lay parents will also learn a lot about the common cold by working through this charming book with their own children.