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October 5, 1984

Fundamental Immunology

Author Affiliations

University of Missouri Columbia

JAMA. 1984;252(13):1767. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350130073043

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


Because much of immunology is new, a host of recent articles and books have been published to explain the fundamentals of the science. My choice as the best textbook for graduate students in medicine is this complex work by W. E. Paul and his 52 co-workers. It is easy to read and still is a rigorous intellectual challenge for anyone. If you compare the chapters with those written five or ten years ago with similar titles, you recognize enormous improvement everywhere, in both vocabulary and concepts.

Be aware that this book is not entitled "practical" or "clinical" immunology. You need to look elsewhere to learn about the acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or penicillin allergy, or poison ivy dermatitis. However, the fundamental concepts about classifying lymphocyte dysfunctions, or the recognition of antigens by immune competent cells, or the Sulzberger-Chase phenomena are here. No flowering of great contradictions or divisive schools of