The word germ is defined as 'a microbe that causes disease'. The vast majority of microbes do not infect us at all: it is pathogens that make us ill. These include bacteria, viruses, protozoa, fungi, worms, and prions. Living with Germs not only looks at all of these in detail, but also at the defence mechanisms by which we come to terms with them, whether by eliminating them, stopping them from eliminating us, or simply learning to live with them. This is the first book to look at the subject of immunology in a relevant and approachable style. Using anecdotal and autobiographical material, John Playfair has produced a lively, well-written, and up-to-date look at immunology. Timely and topical, this will appeal to all those who want to know the facts behind the 'germ' scare stories.
Table of Contents
PREFACE; Living with Germs; 1. Introduction: infection and immunity; 2. The pathogens; 3. Defence and immunity: the old immune system; 4. Sharpening the focus: the new immune system; 5. Communication and collaboration; 6. The pathogens fight back; 7. Getting ill; 8. Immunodeficiency; 9. Controlling pathogens; 10. A look ahead; Glossary; Further Reading; Index
Professor John Playfair was the Chairman of the Immunology Department at University College Hospital, where he established the immunology course, until his retirement a few years ago. He is the author of the highly respected textbook Infection and Immunity, soon to be published in its second edition (Oxford University Press, co-authored with Greg Bancroft).