The Chemical Aspects of Immunity

By H. Gideon Wells. Revised edition of Monograph 21 of the Monograph Series of the American Chemical Society and published by the Chemical Catalogue Company, New York, 1919

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This book of 275 pages with a working index is a compact and comprehensive discussion of immunity, taking up in seven different chapters the chemical nature of antigens and antibodies, and the nature of the reaction between them. Chapter 8 is an excellent discussion of the mechanism of the Wassermann and related reactions, and the remaining chapters deal with anaphylaxis, phagocytic immunity and resistance to non-antigenic poisons.

The book can be included in a chemical series only by courtesy, for it is much more immunological than chemical. We hasten to add that this is not the author's fault, but is inherent in the subject matter which deals with complex proteins in almost infinitesimal amounts, which are so far quite beyond the power of the chemist to identity. Thus it has so far proved impossible to determine with certainty whether toxins and the various antibodies are proteins, or are other substances associated with certain proteins.

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