Understanding Immunology

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Understanding Immunology

Second Edition

Peter Wood


Understanding Immunology is a clear and concise introduction to a dynamic and crucial subject in molecular biology. At the book's core is the desire to show exactly why the immune system is set up in the way that it is, and to demonstrate that the complex mechanisms used by the immune system to perform its tasks are far more efficient than any apparently 'simpler' alternatives.

This second edition is fully updated to cover the latest developments in this fast-paced field and includes new material on the anatomy of the lymphoid system, immune responses in vivo and an expanded section on tumour immunology.

Based on his extensive teaching experience, Peter Wood has provided an outstanding, accessible text suitable for students taking Introductory Immunology courses as a part of undergraduate Science or Medical programmes.


  • Carefully selected material provides a simple, clear introduction to the subject
  • Learning objectives, boxed case-studies and chapter summaries aid student learning
  • Covers topical areas such as autoimmunity, allergy and AIDS
  • Clear, two-colour illustrations
  • Up-to-date references on a linked website


Dr. Peter Wood is a lecturer in Immunology in the Faculty of Life Sciences at the Universityof Manchester. He has over 20 years of teaching experience in the UKand in the USA, and has published many papers in the area of Immunology.

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Product Details

Table of Contents






1    The threat of the body: the role and requirements of the immune system

1.1    The role and complexity of the immune system

1.2    Types of pathogen and how they differ

1.3    Disease production by pathogens

1.4    Conclusion

1.5    Summary

2    The immediate response to infection: innate immunity and the
inflammatory response

2.1    The response to infection

2.2    The immediate response to infection -- the innate immune system

2.3    Cytokines

2.4    The inflammatory response and cell migration

2.5    Cell migration

2.6    The inflammatory response

2.7    The acute phase response

2.8    Opsonins and phagocytosis

2.9    Interferons and natural killers

2.10    Summary

3    Specific immune recognition: the antibody molecule

3.1    Introduction to the specific immune system

3.2    Antibody structure

3.3    Recognition by antibody -- antigens and epitopes

3.4    Antibody classes

3.5    Antibody can be secreted or expressed on the cell surface of B lymphocytes

3.6    Summary

4    T lymphocytes and MHC-associated recognition ofantigen

4.1    Overview of T lymphocyte subsets

4.2    The T cell receptor for antigen

4.3    The major histocompatibility complex

4.4    Recognition of antigen by T cells

4.5    Antigen processing and presentation by MHC molecules

4.6    Summary

5    Generation of diversity: how do T and B cells generate so many
different variants of their antigen receptors?

5.1    Introduction

5.2    The relationship between Ig and TcR genes and the proteins produced

5.3    Rearrangement of receptor genes in B and T cells

5.4    Summary

6    Anatomy of the immune system

6.1    Requirements of the immune system in vivo

6.2    The types of immune response

6.3    Anatomy of the lymphoid system

6.4    Lymphocyte recirculation

6.5    Summary

7    Cellular and anatomical aspects of antibody production

7.1    Overview of antibody production

7.2    Activation of CD4 T lymphocytes

7.3    Stimulation of B-cells by antigen and their interaction with helper Th (2-4 days after antigen)

7.4    Formation of germinal centres (4-14 days after antigen)

7.5    MALT and the production of IgA

7.6    Summary

8    Effector mechanisms: dealing with pathogens in vivo (1) Antibody-mediated responses

8.1    Humoral and cell-mediated immunity

8.2    Antibody-mediated effector responses

8.3    Neutralisation by antibody

8.4    Agglutination

8.5    Phagocytosis and killing

8.6    Complement

8.7    Antibody, complement and the opsonisation of microbes

8.8    Antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytoxicity (ADCC)

8.9    Summary

9    Effector mechanisms: dealing with pathogens in vivo (2) Cell-mediated immunity

9.1    Introduction

9.2    Cytotoxic T cells

9.3    Delayed-type hypersensitivity

9.4    Different effector responses have different costs to the hosts

9.5    Two major types of helper CD4 T cells

9.6    Summary

10  Immunological memory and vaccination

10.1  Immunological memory

10.2  Vaccines

10.3  Summary

11  Lymphocyte development and immunological tolerance

11.1  Why must lymphocytes be produced continually?

11.2  The production of lymphocytes: lymphopoiesis

11.3  Production of B lymphocytes

11.4  Production of T lymphocytes

11.5  Peripheral tolerance in T cells

11.6  Summary

12  Autoimmune diseases

12.1  Definition and terminology of autoimmune disease

12.2  Spectrum and clinical burden of autoimmune diseases

12.3  Immunological features of autoimmune diseases

12.4  Aetiology of autoimmune disease

12.5  Loss of immunological tolerance

12.6  Summary

13  Allergy and other hypersensitivities

13.1  Introduction

13.2  Type I hypersensitivity (allergy)

13.3  Clinical symptoms of allergy

13.4  Testing for allergy

13.5  Epidemiology of allergy

13.6  Why have IgE?

13.7  Treatment of allergy

13.8  Type II hypersensitivity

13.9  Type III hypersensitivity

13.10   Differences between type II and type III hypersensitivity

13.11   Contact hypersensitivity

13.12   Summary

14  AIDS

14.1  History and incidence of AIDS

14.2  The human immunodeficiency virus

14.3  Clinical course of HIV infection

14.4  Immunological events associated with HIV infection

14.5  Chemotherapy of HIV

14.6  HIV vaccines

14.7  Summary

15  Manipulating the immune system: vaccination, transplantation and tumours

15.1  Introduction

15.2  Transplantation

15.3  Using the immune system against tumours

15.4  Summary







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