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Editor:  Joseph A. Bellanti, MD, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, DC
Associate Editors: Alejandro Escobar-Gutierrez, PhD, National School of Biological Sciences, Mexico City; George C. Tsokos, MD, Harvard Medical School, Boston.
Publisher: I Care Press, Bethesda, MD, 2012

With the publication of his landmark fourth edition of Immunology IV: Clinical Applications in Health and Disease, Dr. Bellanti has written an opus magnum of clinical immunology that assembles the latest research findings and clinical applications of immunology in one comprehensive, up-to-date volume. Together with his two co-editors, Drs. Alejandro Escobar-Gutierrez and George C. Tsokos, Dr. Bellanti has produced the completely re-written 2012 4th edition of his widely acclaimed series of immunology textbooks. Accompanied by a complementary online version the work allows interactive multi-level learning and teaching with high state-of the art animations, hyperlinks, clinical case studies and interactive questions and answers with access to a continuously up-dated version of the book.

The brilliance of the work derives not only from the expertise of  the individual authors selected to write each of the 25 chapters but is also assured by the direct participation of the redactorial skills of the editor within each of the  chapters. The introductory clinical case presentations that greet the reader at the beginning of each chapter together with the consistent use of highly creative illustrations throughout the book   produce a continuity of style that maintains a fidelity to the clinical theme not commonly found in other textbooks. This avoids the omissions or repetitions often found in many other works.

The book fully respects the transectional nature of the discipline of clinical immunology which cuts horizontally across each of the many divisions of medicine by comprehensively covering from bench to bed-side introductory chapters dealing with the cells, cytokines and mediators of the immune response together with mechanisms of immune responses to bacterial, viral, fungal and parasitic infection and then progressing to more clinically-relevant chapters describing the immunodeficiencies, allergic diseases, autoimmune diseases, immune response to cancer, lymphoproliferative diseases, and transplantation immunology. These chapters are complemented by subsequent chapters describing diagnostic laboratory tests together with the most recent immunologically-based treatments, including vaccines and immodulatory agents each enriched by excellent summarizing tables. For example, I have never seen a more useful comprehensive reference source as the 5-page table on immune response modifiers found in the annex to Chapter 11.

I must unabashedly disclose what might be construed as a potential conflict of interest in my reviewing this book since I am unquestionably influenced by the great admiration I have for Joseph Bellanti, as a scientist, as a physician and as one of the pioneer mentors of the discipline of allergy and clinical immunology, from whom I personally learned the first basics of immunology at the beginning of my career. However, I do not feel it influenced me significantly in my very positive opinion on what Dr. Bellanti and co-workers were able to achieve.

The final comment I usually make when reviewing a book, is its cost. This hard cover beautifully illustrated book has an extremely favorable cost/value ratio and is affordably priced at $99. Its purchase is accompanied by the online version and the editor has indicated that all net proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to research and educational programs. 

I do think that the textbook of Joseph A. Bellanti is the ideal reference not only for pre-graduate and post-graduate students, but also the ideal reference for residents and fellows preparing for certification and board examinations as well as a crucial resource for researchers and all health care providers. 

Sergio Bonini

Professor of Medicine
Second University of Naples

ISBN: 978-0-692-01160-7
Hardcover, 1063 pages, 800 illustrations, index.
List price for text and access to the online service: $99.00 plus S/H
Order from: I Care Press, Bethesda, Maryland; Web: www.immunologycenter.org;  Phone: 202-687-8227 (continental U.S. and Canada), 301-938-2940 (all other locations); Fax: 202-784-3597; Mail: P.O. Box 40902, Washington, DC 20016, USA