I am looking for recommendations to good textbooks introducing modern immunology. Review articles, preferably modern (post 2000) would also be useful.

Please, include a brief comment with each book recommendation.

About book listing questions on SE: I understand that SE sites in general have adopted in the last year a policy against book listing questions. Instead, book lists should be moved to tag wikis. However, since BiologySE is still beta and young and the tag-wiki for immunology is mostly empty, I believe we would benefit from a question listing good introductory books to modern immunology, at least temporarily. Eventually, when Biology.SE matures, this question should be closed or locked, and the book recommendations herein moved to the tag-wiki for immunology. Moreover, for most other SE sites I have seen, the tag-wikis usually gather information that first appeared in questions like this, even if the question is eventually closed or locked. That's why I think this question will be useful to the community, at least temporarily.


4 Answers 4


I am surprised Janeway's Immunobiology is not listed here:

Murphy K. Janeway's Immunobiology. 8th ed. New York: Garland Science; 2011.

It is very comprehensive, accessible and goes beyond any graduate course I know. Most immunology researchers I know have a copy of this handy somewhere in their office. A particular highlight are the very clear illustration.

I would suspect that a new edition is currently in the works, so I recommend checking if a new edition is due to come out before you buy.


Cellular and Molecular Immunology
Abul K. Abbas MBBS (Author), Andrew H. H. Lichtman MD PhD (Author), Shiv Pillai MD (Author)

This was my Fall 2011 Basic Immunology text for a hybrid med-school/undergrad class at my University.

I have not read others, but every time the topic of Immune responses comes up in other Undergrad courses, I have been well or exceedingly informed because of it.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Given @becko's note on putting references in tag-wikis, maybe we should put this listing in the tag wiki for immunology $\endgroup$
    – A. Kennard
    Nov 30, 2013 at 19:19
  • $\begingroup$ @A.Kennard But, as I said in the note, the question should remain open until it accumulates more answers. $\endgroup$
    – becko
    Dec 4, 2013 at 13:25

The MCM's book is good one. I recommend the book BRS Microbiology and Immunology, because then you can see the thing in the real context and have good exercises too. First Aid for the USMLES Step 1 then explains you how to read for immunology and gives you rather good summary about the topic and some mnemonics.


I took an undergraduate immunology class for fun a few years ago while I was working at a university (taught by a Ph.D. from MIT).

"The Immune System" by Peter Parham (3rd ed. 2009) was really enjoyable and seems to have taught me well. So well that although I had very little background in biology, after taking that class I was able to discuss and sometimes even help my (then)girlfriend in her graduate level immunology class. I praise the book highly.


edit: Apparently there is a 4th edition now, 2014.

  • $\begingroup$ If you actually read the link you provided, you'll see that there's a new edition of that book, from 2014. Answering a request for "modern" immunology texts with a book from 2009 is not helpful at all - a lot has changed and been discovered since then. $\endgroup$
    – MattDMo
    Oct 12, 2016 at 18:25
  • $\begingroup$ Then take the time you spent writing that comment and edit the answer with the new link. Yes, immunology is changing wonderfully fast. However, the asker qualified post-2000, so 4th ed. is even better. Instead, @MCM and Rob Hall both suggested books two years older, which apparently is your threshold (perhaps more likely, reputation bias is acting). Content-wise, they provided similar information. But not to worry for you, it is very likely I will not attempt further contributions to stack biology. The integrity of your stack is safe another day. $\endgroup$
    – weezilla
    Oct 13, 2016 at 0:18

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