I will soon begin work on a project about immunology. I would like to read more about the main mechanisms of the immune system.

What books or articles could you recommend to me? In particular I am interested in the adaptive immune system.

I would appreciate if some of the recommendations are at an undergraduate level as I do not have a background in biology.

Thanks a lot.

  • $\begingroup$ @MattDMo 's answer is a great starting point. You probably also want to look through Nature Reviews: Immunology to get an overview of what is currently occurring in the field today. From there, you can look at the referenced articles in more specialized journals for topics related to your project. $\endgroup$
    – AMR
    Commented Nov 21, 2015 at 1:07
  • $\begingroup$ echoing @AMR 's sentiment, Annual Reviews of Immunology is also a great resource if you're looking to go deeper than textbook-level, although Nature Reviews in general has better pictures :) $\endgroup$
    – MattDMo
    Commented Nov 21, 2015 at 1:54

1 Answer 1


There are two books that I see as "standards" in the field:

These texts can be used both at an undergraduate and graduate level (I used them in both), and are updated every few years. The latest edition of Immunobiology is from 2011, while CMI is from 2014, so you may want to start with that one first.

An earlier version of Immunobiology is also available for free on NCBI's Bookshelf, but unfortunately you can't read directly through it, you'll need to search for what you're interested in.

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    $\begingroup$ +1 for Cellular and Molecular Immunology. My undergrad immuno course used Parham's The Immune System and I really didn't like it. There are very good figures in Abbas' text, and I think it's also more in-depth for those of us who want to know more without multiple textbooks. $\endgroup$
    – CKM
    Commented Nov 21, 2015 at 1:50
  • $\begingroup$ The Immunobiology book (previously by Janeway) - is awesome! Used it for my graduate school course on immunology. Great pictures and explanations - even for someone who didn't have a strong background in immunology. I would recommend that to anyone interested in learning more about immunology. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 3:41

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