Viral Structural Components as Immunogens of Prophylactic Value

Volume 4 in Monographs in Virology, edited by A. Robert Neurath and Benjamin A. Rubin, Wyeth Laboratories, Inc., Department of Research and Development, Philadelphia. 87 pages, illustrated. S. Karger AG, Medical and Scientific Publishers, Arnold-Böcklin-Strasse 25, CH-4000 Basel 11, Switzerland. Sfr. 27. U.S. $6.50. DM. 27. £2.85

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  • Department of Virus Diseases Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Washington, D. C. 20012

In this brief and clearly written book the authors examine several basic concepts of the immunology of macromolecules which are applicable to the problems posed by attempts to develop viral subunit vaccines. Using several examples, in the third chapter they outline present knowledge of the immune response to several complex macromolecules with emphasis on the extensively studied adenoviruses and influenza viruses. This chapter is very well written and well referenced.

The brief fourth chapter which considers six other groups of viruses is too short and incomplete to provide insight into the specific virologic or immunologic problems posed by these other groups.

The authors review some recent work of their own and others in developing subunit adenovirus and influenza vaccines. This chapter also describes some of the present technical and theoretical constraints to this approach to viral immunoprophylaxis.

Although not without some bias this monograph provides an excellent summary of the subject and is highly recommended to those interested in immunoprophylaxis of infectious diseases.