Reproductive Immunology

Reproductive Immunology
Richard A. Bronson

Four central issues have dominated the field of reproductive immunology. How does the fetus escape maternal recognition, and is recurrent spontaneous abortion of pregnancy caused by failure of these mechanisms? By what mechanisms do spermatozoa avoid immunologic detection within the male and female reproductive tracts, and is human infertility caused by aberrant immunologic responses to gametes? Can the current rate of world population growth be regulated through the development of new techniques in contraceptive immunization for family planning? What mechanisms, at the level of the genital tract mucosa, normally defend against sexually transmitted diseases, and can cervical dysplasia, genital herpes, and AIDS be prevented through immunization? The answers to these central questions will play an important role in our facing the challenges of the near future. While every individual should be entitled to pursue his or her reproductive dream of children, as reflected in the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Man, it is the balance of conflicting forces, the urge to reproduce, overpopulation, and the control of sexually transmitted diseases that will determine whether the world’s societies progress toward health or illness.

This text covers all aspects of immunology in reproduction from the basic science and mechanisms to their clinical applications in fertility, infertility, infection, and pregnancy. The book should be of interest to reproductive endocrinologists, gynaecologists and even obstetricians, as the clinical sequelae of immunologic dysfunctions are very important.