Whether we like it or not, our bodies play host to a horde of microscopic organisms including viruses, bacteria and worms - some of which happily co-exist with us and others which would do the dirty on us if they could. Our only defence against these potentially harmful, uninvited guests is our immune system.
Germ Warfare describes the successes of this defence system but along with the victories it also describes breaches in the defences, leading to infections and autoimmune diseases such as arthritis and multiple sclerosis. By telling the stories of the major players in this new science of immunology, Alan Baxter explodes the myth of scientists as being stooped, stammering savants and brings their colourful characters alive. The temperamental rages of Elie Metchnikoff; the gentle New England dedication of George Snell; Howard Florey, the 'Australian bushranger'; Macfarlane Burnet, deeply shy yet politically adept; and the sophisticated charm of Peter Medawar all contribute to this refreshingly honest and humorous history of the great achievers and achievements in the once secret science that affects each and every one of us.