Invertebrate Precursors to Immune Responses

  • F. M. Burnet


As long as there are useful invertebrates like earthworms, oysters, or honey bees to be protected, and others like tapeworms, slugs, and mosquitoes to be destroyed, there will be a utilitarian justification for studying invertebrate pathology and whatever is equivalent in them to what we study in vertebrates as immunology. Nevertheless, I fancy that most contributors to this symposium are interested mainly in what, if any, light such studies of invertebrates can throw on the evolution of the processes of inflammation and immunity as we see them in man and the experimental mammals of the laboratory. Since Darwin, much of the “fun” of biological research has been to interpret what directly interests one in evolutionary terms. This introduction is stimulated almost wholly by my interest in the phylogeny of the immune responses and will touch only on findings that appear to be relevant to that theme.


Pollen Tube Colonial Ascidian Stylar Tissue Damage Interaction Tunicate Larva 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. M. Burnet
    • 1
  1. 1.School of MicrobiologyUniversity of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia

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