History of Immunology


Immunity to disease has long been recognized, but only during the late nineteenth century, thanks to Louis Pasteur, Robert Koch, Elie Metchnikoff and Paul Ehrlich, did immunology become a true science able to explain mechanisms and to develop preventive vaccines. Originally medically oriented (1880–1910), the field passed through a stage of chemical domination (1910–1960) and then became biologically and, once again, medically oriented.

Keywords: immunology; allergy; vaccination; antibodies

Further Reading

Arrhenius S (1970) Immunochemistry. New York: Macmillan.

Bibel DJ (1988) Milestones in Immunology. New York: Springer.

Bordet J (1909) Studies on Immunity, Gay F (transl.). New York: John Wiley.

Burnet FM (1959) The Clonal Selection Theory of Acquired Immunity. Cambridge: The University Press.

Burnet FM and Fenner F (1949) The Production of Antibodies, 2nd edn. Melbourne: Macmillan.

Ehrlich P (1905) Collected Studies in Immunity. New York: John Wiley.

Landsteiner K (1945) The Specificity of Serological Reactions. Boston: Harvard University Press.

Metchnikoff E (1905) Immunity in the Infectious Diseases. New York: Macmillan.

Parrish HJ (1965) A History of Immunization. Edinburgh: Livingstone.

Silverstein AM (1989) A History of Immunology. New York: Academic Press.

Tauber AI and Chernyak L (1991) Metchnikoff and the Origins of Immunology. New York: Oxford University Press.

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Silverstein, Arthur M(Apr 2001) History of Immunology. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0003078]