Immunology: A Short Course, 7th Edition

Immunology: A Short Course, 7th Edition
  • Author: Coico, Richard, Sunshine, Geoffrey
    Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
    Genres: Biology
    Publish Date: 2015
    ISBN-10: B011DBXR6I
    Pages: 432
    File Type: PDF
    Language: English

Book Preface

As with our previous editions, the seventh edition of Immunology: A Short Course is intended to provide the reader with a clear and concise overview of our current understanding of the physiology of the immune system as well as the pathophysiology associated with various immune-mediated diseases. Although our knowledge of how the immune system develops and functions and the ways in which these physiological phenomena can fail or be compromised and thereby cause disease has significantly expanded since the previous edition, we have preserved our commitment to the motto less is more, the guiding light of this series. We are still committed to teaching our students and presenting to our readers only the information that we consider absolutely essential. To reflect this new knowledge, we have updated and rewritten every chapter in the sixth edition to incorporate new findings or to remove information that no longer reflects current thinking. We have also provided new multiple choice questions and answers at the end of each chapter so that the reader can evaluate his or her understanding. We have also made one other pivotal change as compared with earlier editions: At its most basic level, and since the first edition of the book, we have introduced the subject of immune response by highlighting the fact that it can be split into two arms: the innate response and the adaptive immune response. The past decade has witnessed the delineation of innate immunity in ways that have revolutionized our understanding of host–pathogen interactions and their impact on defense mechanisms in infectious diseases. Because of this growth in knowledge, we have added a new chapter on the subject of innate immunity (Chapter 2).

Other advances since the sixth edition include an explosion of targeted therapies for diseases ranging from cancer to Crohn’s disease. For many years the path toward this goal was principally pharmacologic in nature. Now, with the advent of hybridoma technology to generate monoclonal antibodies and their use in translational studies in humans, we have entered an era in which we are witnessing the potential for these antibodies to treat many different diseases including inflammatory and autoinflammatory disorders and cancer. Indeed, many antibody therapies are now approved for clinical use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Similarly, the growth in our knowledge of cytokines, together with the successful development of soluble cytokine  receptors (antagonists), cytokine analogs, and anti-cytokine or anti-cytokine receptor antibodies has yielded many opportunities for therapeutic exploitation of this knowledge. The seventh edition highlights some of these important therapeutic successes and possibilities for success. We have also woven discussion of these therapies into chapters that deal with basic immune mechanisms. Our goal is to inspire the reader to consider how advances in the field of immunology have generated clinical and translational fruits that have improved health both through the prevention of infectious diseases using vaccines and by treating diseases with a variety of immune-based biological magic bullets, a term first coined by Paul Ehrlich more than 100 years ago. Our goal is to provide a basic understanding of the immune system. For the reader who would like a more indepth knowledge of clinical conditions, we refer in the text at several places to clinical cases in a companion book Immunology: Clinical Case Studies and Disease Pathophysiology, edited by Warren Strober (NIAID/NIH) and Susan Gottesman (SUNY-Downstate) (ISBN: 9780471326595, see We are confident that the synergy created by the material in the seventh edition of Immunology: A Short Course and the linked clinical cases will be a true asset to students of medicine and other health professions.

We are very grateful to Dr. Philip Cohen (Temple University School of Medicine), who updated Chapter 13 on the subject of “Tolerance and Autoimmunity.” We would also like to thank Dr. Susan Gottesman (SUNY-Downstate), who updated Chapter 18, “Immunodeficiency Disorders and Neoplasias of the Lymphoid System.” We also offer our profuse thanks to Dr. Gottesman for reviewing and providing comments on drafts of every chapter, as well as writing many of the multiple choice questions and answers that are found on the accompanying website.

Richard Coico would like acknowledge the loving, enduring support of his wife, Lisa, during the writing of this book. “Her encouragement and inspiration is second to none with two possible exceptions, namely, our children, Jonathan and Jennifer. Jonathan, a talented writer himself, and Jennifer, an emerging public health advocate, are each blessed with patience and bright inquisitive minds”—the ideal mix of attributes for children and students alike. Finally, once again, he would like to thank his mentor, Dr. G. Jeanette Thorbecke, who greatly influenced his commitment and passion to the field of immunology. Special thanks also go to co-workers, including secretaries, office assistants, and other staff members who helped with the preparation of the manuscript.

Geoffrey Sunshine would like to thank his companion lecturers in the Tufts University School of Medicine immunology course, Peter Brodeur and Arthur Rabson. They provided enormous help in addressing the key questions of what is important to teach students who know little or no immunology and how best to present this information. Peter also gave many constructive suggestions during the preparation of the current edition. In addition, Geoffrey would like to thank his wife, Ilene, for her continued support and understanding during the writing, and his daughter, Caroline, for her help in revising the Glossary.

The authors also wish to express their appreciation to our copyeditor, William Krol; Stephanie Sakson, at Toppan Best-set Premedia; and to Martin Davies, Karen Moore, Elizabeth Norton, and Sam French of John Wiley and Sons, who helped to publish the seventh edition.

Richard Coico
Geoffrey Sunshine

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