The Immunologic System

  • Robert D. Gillette
  • James V. Lustig


The immune mechanism protects the host from a hostile environment by destroying invading organisms and rejecting foreign cells and substances. It may also cause tissue damage and untoward symptoms in the host. Diseases that are mediated by such maladaptive immune responses are termed “allergies” (G. allos, other, + ergon, work). Each of these conditions has its genesis in the ingestion, inhalation, injection, or absorption through the skin of a substance that is perceived by the body as foreign. Recent advances in immunology have led to a much wider conceptualization of the immune response and its consequences,1 but it is still clinically useful to group together diseases caused by immunologic hyperreactivity to exogenous antigens and to speak of them as “allergic.”


Food Allergy Allergic Rhinitis Allergy Clin Immunol Acquire Immune Deficiency Syndrome Acute Asthma 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert D. Gillette
  • James V. Lustig

There are no affiliations available

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