GERM WARFARE: Breakthroughs in Immunology
Alan G Baxter

Comparative Genomics Centre,
Molecular Sciences Bldg 21, James Cook University,
Townsville, 4811, Queensland, Australia
Telephone: 61-7-4781 6265 Fax:  61-7-4781 6078

Publication Details
Baxter AG (2000) Germ Warfare: Breakthroughs in Immunology
ISBN 1 86508 070 5

Allen and Unwin,
PO Box 8500,
St Leonards NSW 1590,

"Lots of fascinating stories and gripping reading, too."

Robyn Williams, Science Broadcaster

About the book
          In GermWarfare, Baxter brings alive the oral histories of immunology, the most important of the medical sciences. In crisp, clear writing, he explodes the myth of scientists as stooped, stammering savants and brings their characters vividly alive from the possessed pugilism of the Russian Eli Metchnikoff to the gentle New England charm of George Snell.

          Woven through the personal histories of these great explorers of Nature comes an effortless description of the science. Germ Warfare is about the immune system in infection and disease. The deadly Ebola Virus is used as an example of an infection which is completely new to our species, yet is able to elicit a protective immune response. The cells and molecules that defend us from diseases like Ebola are described and the ways in which they work together to defeat infections explained. Like the armed forces of civic defence, the protective activities of the immune system can also cause disease. In autoimmune diseases such as lupus and childhood diabetes, illness results from ëfriendly fireí in which the immune system's targeting fails and causes damage to the body itself.

        GermWarfare is recommended as an entertaining journey for anyone interested in biology, an introduction for students of immunology, and as a historical record of the passions and paradigms of medical science.

"I have met many of these people, count some as good friends, lived through a few of the ups and downs and was bitten by more than one genetically-defined mouse. I am also a character in this 'Pilgrim's Progress' of a modern, dynamic scientific discipline. I hope that you will enjoy this 'warts and all' account of a medically important and fascinating area of human enquiry."

Peter C. Doherty, Nobel Prize Winner, 1996


"For anyone interested or involved in the biomedical sciences it's an entertaining and absorbing story of scientific endeavour that tells us where immunology came from and the promise it still holds for medicine."

John Pound, Reviewer, Immunology Today

Sample Germ Warfare
        Sample Germ Warfare on
        Extract from ASI Newsletter (March 2000)

Reviews of Germ Warfare Terry Wilkin, Autoimmunity, December 2001

"This is a marvellous little paperback... A 'must read'."

Ronald Walls, Reviewer, Medicine Today

        Germ Warfare is currently available Australia-wide through all good bookshops, including Gleebooks, Readings, Angus and Robertson, Dymocks and Collins. Its recommended Retail Priceis $21.91 Australian, including GST.

Order online:
Link Price P&P
Angus and Robertson $21.91 $4.00
Dymocks $21.91 $7.95
Gleebooks $21.95 $7.73
Allen and Unwin $21.95 $4.00
Ned Kelly $19.72 $6.60

World Distribution News
        Germ Warfare is available in the US at all good book stores with a retail price of $14.95, and through Barnes and Noble ($13.45) and, who have  stocks available at $11.95. It has a retail price in the UK of £9.99, and is available at for £7.99. The first person to write an on-line review of the book for will recieve a chance to win a £50 gift certificate.

        Germ Warfare is also currently distributed in Japan, Canada, Czechoslovakia, France, Germany, Korea, Singapore, South Africa and Switzerland.

About the Author
          Alan Baxter was born in Melbourne, Australia in 1963. He trained in Medicine at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and completed a PhD in Immunology at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. He has worked as a Research Fellow in Medicine at Harvard University in Boston and as a Visiting Fellow at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom, where he supervised Pathology at Trinity College. He is currently the Head of the Autoimmunity Research Group at the Centenary Institute in Sydney and is continuing his work on the immunology and genetics of autoimmune diseases. He is married with one son.


Autoimmunity Research Group, Centenary Institute of Cancer Medicine and Cell Biology, Key words: Autoimmune diabetes, Type 1 diabetes mellitus, childhood diabetes, lupus, systemic lupus erythematosus, hemolytic anaemia, hemolytic anemia, Coombs' test, antinuclear antibodies, renal failure, glomerulonephritis, gastritis, type A gastritis, pernicious anemia, immunology, popular science, biology.