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November 1979

Host Defenses in the Human Neonate

Am J Dis Child. 1979;133(11):1210. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1979.02130110118036

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


Michael Miller's labors have given us an up-to-date and superbly referenced textbook that reviews the immunology of the newborn. It is a textbook of value to all who provide care to the newborn. Just the word "immunology," with its myriad of cell types and factors, might cause clinicians to shy toward more familiar turf; however, the text is written clearly and the major points are explained so well that nonimmunologists will find it understandable and useful.

The first chapter, on "General Concepts," lays the foundation and provides the rationale for succeeding chapters. Its historical notes are pertinent and interesting. (For example, work during the past decade on phagocytic defects is confirming the predictions Elie Metchnikoff made almost 80 years ago!) The point is made that the neonate is an "experiment of nature" from which we have much to learn. A discussion of the development of T and B cells follows,