Viruses and the Immune Response

  • Frank Fenner
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 31)


There have been close links between the development of virology and that of immunology for a very long time. One could say that they were born together in 1798, when Edward Jenner introduced vaccination with cowpox to protect against the smallpox. Contained within this discovery were the recognition of a contagious viral disease, an appreciation of cross-reactivity between related viruses and the notions of active immunization and delayed hypersensitivity. Almost a century later, Louis Pasteur deliberately attenuated virulent rabies virus by serial passage in a novel host, the rabbit, thus introducing a method of preparing live virus vaccines that persists to the present day. More recently, it was primarily the consideration of Traub’s experiments with congenital lymphocytic choriomeningitis of mice that led in 1949 to Burnet’s concept of immunological tolerance; and it was Burnet’s experience as a microbiologist, thinking of the genetics of viruses and bacteria as exercises in population genetics, that led him to a similar consideration of lymphoid cell populations and the enunciation of the clonal selection theory of antibody production in 1959.


Dengue Virus Rabies Virus Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever Circulatory Immune Complex Dengue Shock Syndrome 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frank Fenner
    • 1
  1. 1.John Curtin School of Medical ResearchAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

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