About this book
Antibodies of the IgA class form the front line of immune defense at mucosal surfaces lining the gastrointestinal, respiratory and genital tracts. These IgA antibodies promote peaceful co-existence with beneficial microorganisms, such as gut bacteria that assist in digestion and nutrient production, while selectively neutralizing pathogenic microorganisms and harmful environmental substances. This book, authored by international experts in the field of IgA immunology, presents a comprehensive and timely overview of current knowledge of IgA structure and function. Topics include the basic science of IgA biochemistry and molecular biology, general and tissue-specific aspects of IgA function, and the clinical relevance of IgA in infection, autoimmunity, immunodeficiency and cancer. The final chapters describe state-of-the art applications of molecular genetics for the production of vaccines and therapeutics targeting IgA. The unique focus on IgA, the most abundant molecule in the mucosal immune system, differentiates this book from more general texts in the area of mucosal immunology. This book should be useful for researchers, educators, clinicians and students interested in a concise source of up-to-date information on the central role of IgA in mucosal immune defense.