The topic of antigenic variation is important in both biology and medicine. It is of enormous interest, as it describes the process(es) whereby microorganisms 'shift shape', by genetic rearrangement or otherwise. In medical terms, this has a major impact on the infectious disease process, since the immune system has great difficulty in keeping up with this variation, and thus eliminating the infectious agent. Antigenic variation is a major method by which microbes evade the immune response, and persist in the body. The broad scope of the book appeals to all those working in the field of infectious disease, immunology of infection, pathogenesis, molecular biology and also to evolutionary biologists. Topics covered include not only bacterial species, and viruses such as influenza, HIV, Rotavirus, but also eukaryotic parasites - one of the most fascinating groups of organisms exhibiting this behaviour.

Key Features

Comprehensive coverage of antigenic variation from viruses to parasites Discussions devoted to molecular mechanisms of host evasion Detailed descriptions of host/pathogen interactions


Research level infectious disease specialists, microbiologists, immunologists, molecular biologists, virologists, parasitologists,and evolutionary biologists

Table of Contents

Synthesis of allelic/antigenic variation HIV variation - a question of signal-to-noise Calicivirus Influenza, the chameleon virus Rotaviruses Mycoplasma Haemophilus Influenzae Phase Variation in Helicobacter pylori Lipopolysaccharide Genetic Variation in the Pathogenic Neisseria Species Candida Albicans The MSG Gene Family and Antigenic Variation in the Fungus P. carinii Trypanosome Antigenic Variation - a heavy investment in the evasion of immunity Antigenic variation in Anaplasma marginale and Ehrlichia (Cowdria) ruminantium Antigenic Variation and its' Significance to Babsesia Antigenic Variation in Plasmodium falciparum and other Plasmodium Species Antigenic Variation in Borrelia: Relapsing Fever and Lyme Borreliosis Surface Antigenic Variation in Giardia lamblia Free-living and Parasitic Ciliates:The Impact of Antigenic Variation on Pathogen Population Structure, Fitness and Dynamics


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© 2003
Academic Press
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About the editors


"It provides an excellent review, drawing from examples as diverse as HIV...I would recommend this text to anyone involved with vaccine and drug development, as well as those studying the host-microbe interaction: a useful addition to the bookshelf." -MICROBIOLOGY TODAY (May 2004)