My favorite immunology texts are listed below. Before
studying immunology, you need to have studied chemistry (general, organic,
and bio) and biology, especially cell structure and function. Some
physiology wouldn't hurt either.
Immunology is a rapidly advancing field. Any textbook more than two
years old will be seriously out of date. Remember that the author
typically completes writing a text more than a year before it is
published, and the author is relying largely on literature which was
written more than a year before that.
Note: because these texts are updated often, the editions listed
below may not be the latest. Check with the publisher.
I've given up trying to maintain links to book-specific pages, because
the publishers break the links every single year.
Here are some really short textbooks for those who want a quick
conceptual overview without all the details.
How the immune system works, by Lauren Sompayrac. Blackwell
Science, 1999, 111 pages. A light, insightful treatment with a sense
Used in my Infectious
Disease and Defense (397I) course (for a segment representing 40% of
the semester) in 2001.
Immnology, by William L. Anderson.
Fence Creek Publishing (Blackwell). 1999, 200 pages. Beware numerous
errors in figures and text. Nevertheless, this is an up-to-date overview
with a strong medical flavor, used in my Infectious Disease and Defense
course (for a half-semester segment) in 1999 and 2000.
The books below are a bit less than half the size of
the comprehensive books below, better adapted to courses which
cover the entire book in one semester. They are dense but
well-written, providing a thorough introduction with plenty of
Basic Immunology by Abul K. Abbas and Andrew H. Lichtman,
Saunders, 2001. 309 pages, including 230 pages of text plus
CD Appendix, Glossary, Clinical Cases, and Index.
Highly recommended, excellent illustrations.
Basic immunology by Jacqueline Sharon. Williams and Wilkins,
Baltimore MD. First edition, 1998. 303 pages. Very well written.
Some of the figures
are poor in quality, though most get their point across effectively
without fancy graphics. Used in
Immunology (540) before 397I was introduced into the curriculum.
The following comprehensive texts are longer and more detailed than is the
previous one. All below are excellent.
Kuby Immunology. W. H. Freeman & Co. Fourth edition,
2000. 670 pages.
Following the untimely death of
Janis Kuby from cancer, the next edition was updated by Barbara
Osborne and Richard Goldsby of UMass and Amherst College, and Thomas
Kindt of NIH, Bethesda MD.
the largest-selling immunology text.
It is the required text for Microbiology 540.
Cellular and molecular immunology, by Abul Abbas, Andrew Lichtman,
and Jordan Pober. W. B. Saunders. The fourth edition was published in
2000 with 553 pages. This was the required Microbiology 540 textbook until 1997.
Immunobiology - the immune system in health and disease, by
Charles Janeway, Jr. and Paul Travers.
Garland Publishing, Inc. Fifth
edition, 2001. 732 pages.
Immunology by Ivan Roitt, Jonathan Brostoff, and David Male.
Mosby, London. 6th edition, 2001. 480 pages, nearly 50% of which are
illustrations. A bit more of a clinical flavor than the others.