In Immunotherapy for Infectious Disease, researchers review the state-of-the-art for treating various infections-particularly HIV-by manipulating the immune system response rather than by chemical drugs. The contributors synthesize the principles of immune defense on the molecular level (monoclonal antibodies, vaccines, methods of antigen presentation, and cytokines and cytokine antagonists), as well as on the cellular and clinical levels levels as a protection against infection. The review of the current state of anti-HIV immunotherapy covers HIV-specific passive and active immunization strategies, gene therapy, and host cell-targeted approaches for treating HIV infection and restoring immune function.
Immunotherapy has a place where other treatments like antimicrobial chemotherapy fail. Intensive antiviral chemotherapy (e.g. HAART for HIV disease), has the effect of immune reconstitution. For non-viral infections, the extent of chemotherapy by far outweighs that of immunotherapy. Chapters on preventative vaccines and gene therapy sit uncomfortably in the context and are too short. Whilst theoretical aspects of immunotherapy are reviewed well, the balance of immunotherapy and chemotherapy in clinical practice is not optimally presented.
Part I. Basic Principles of Immunity
Part II. Molecular Basis for Immunotherapy
Part III. Immunotherapy for HIV Infection
Part IV. Immunotherapy for Infectious Diseases Other than HIV