Immunology Made Ridiculously Simple

(27 customer reviews)

A brief, clear overview of the basic science and clinical aspects of immunology. For medical students and other health professionals. The basic science section is a clear presentation of innate and adaptive immunity, immune cells, antibodies and antigens, and other components of the immune system and their interactions. The clinical section clarifies hypersensitivity, autoimmunity, immunodeficiency, common diagnostic tests, vaccination, transplantation, and tumor immunology, all in 85 pages!

Excellent USMLE Board Review.


Book Details






Edition 1 (May 15, 2016)



About The Author

Massoud Mahmoudi

Dr. Mahmoudi practices internal medicine, allergy, and immunology in California. He has published or edited numerous scientific papers and 9 books related to allergy and immunology, including the best-selling Immunology Made Ridiculously Simple. He was a medical columnist for local newpapers and the San Francisco Chronicle, has spoken locally and nationally on allergy and immunology, and appeared on local television and Fox News. Dr. Mahmoudi is currently president of the American Osteopathic College of Allergy and Immunology and on the faculties of the University of California San Francisco, Rowan University, and Touro University.



Innate Immunity (Natural Killer Cells; Complement pathways)
Adaptive Immunity (Humoral immunity; Antibodies; Molecular features of immunoglobulins; Cell-mediated immunity)

Antigen Recognition
Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC)
MHC Polymorphism
T Cells and Antigen-presenting Cell Interaction
Antibody Production (Activation of B Cells; Interaction of B cells and T helper cells; Isotope switching)

Mast Cells
Cytokines (Classification of cytokines; Cytokines and disease)


Type I Hypersenstitivity Reaction (IgE-mediated) (Allergic rhinitis)
Type II Hypersensitivity Reaction (Antibody-mediated) (Blood transfusion reaction)
Type III Hypersensitivity Reaction (Immune complex-mediated) (Serum sickness)
Type IV Hypersensitivity Reaction (Cell-mediated; Delayed type) (Mantoux reaction; Allergic contact dermatitis)
Eosinophils and Disease (Eosinophilia)
Mast Cells and Disease (Mastocytosis)

Central Tolerance: T Cells
Peripheral Tolerance: T Cells
Central and Peripheral Tolerance: B Cells
Factors Predisposing to Autoimmunity
Mechanisms of Autoimmunity
Autoimmune Diseases (Diagnosis of autoimmune diseases; Hashimoto thyroiditis; Systemic lupus erythematosus; Rheumatoid arthritis; Sjogren syndrome; Scleroderma)

In Vivo Testing (Prick skin testing; Intradermal testing; Provocative in vivo tests; Patch tests)
In Vitro Testing (ELISA; Radioallergosorbent test; Western blotting; Precipitation; Agglutination; Direct and indirect immunofluorescence)

Primary Immunodeficiency (Immunodeficiency affecting adaptive immunity; Immunodeficiency affecting humoral immunity; X-linked agammaglobulinemia; Common variable immunodeficiency; IgA deficiency; Hyper immunoglobulin E syndrome; T cell deficiency; DiGeorge syndrome; Combined B and T cell deficiency; Ataxia telangiectasia)
Secondary (Acquired) Immunodeficiency
Diagnosis of Immunodeficiency (Workup for primary immunodeficiencies of the innate immune system; Workup for primary immunodeficiences of the adaptive immune system)
Management of Immunodeficiency (Management of AIDS)

Immune Response to Vaccination
Types of Vaccines
Characteristics of an Ideal Vaccine 
Recommended Vaccines for Children and Adults (including Pneumococcal vaccine; Human papillomavirus vaccine; Shingles vaccine)
Passive Immunotherapy (Primary immunodeficiency and the use of IVIG)

Types of Grafts
Graft Success
Graft Rejection
Graft-Versus-Host Disease
Current Practices in Organ Transplantation

Classification of Malignant Tumors (Carcinogenesis)
Risk and Predisposing Factors of Malignancies
Immune Response to Tumors (Immune surveillance and immunoediting; Elimination; Equilibrium, Escape)
Tumor Immunotherapy (Active immunotherapy; Passive immunotherapy)


27 reviews for Immunology Made Ridiculously Simple

  1. medstudent – As good as it gets

    As a medical student, I have struggled many a time with immunology. During my first two years of medical school, immunology was a very difficult subject for me, and while relearning for boards, it was the same way. However, I picked up this book during my rotations to have a quick review for immunology during rotations, and it was great. The book clearly lays out the fundamentals of immunology, so simply put that even a non-medical student could comprehend the text. The diagrams were simple and were a great adjunct to the quick read. I used this book to review the basic cytokines, interleukins, and the pathophysiology behind the basic inflammatory response. This helped me to understand asthma, allergic rhinitis, anaphylaxis, and the four types of hypersensitivity reactions in a way that I was not able to before. I strongly suggest this book to BOTH medical and non-medical students who want a quick and thorough review of immunology. With immunology, there is a tendency to dwell on topics that may not be as relevant to clinical scenarios. However, this book does a good job focusing on the clinically relevant immunology.

  2. Mike R Liddicoat – An Excellent Book Covering Basic Immunology Concepts

    This is a well written and profusely illustrated introduction to immunology. Concepts explained include: Components of the Immune System, Hypersensitivity and Autoimmunity, Immunodeficiency, Vaccination, and Tumor Immunology. Readers in a variety of Health Science disciplines will benefit from the information contained in this book. Carefully written explanations coupled with rich illustrations aid the reader in learning and remembering the covered topics.

  3. Chelsea – recommend

    My immuno prof. recommended this book, and being that he’s conscientious of the high prices we pay for our texts I took the recommendation seriously and I’m glad I did. This is a very useful book for a topic that is generally not very well explained in most other formats.

  4. H.C. – Great overview

    if you are having a tough time understanding the concepts, this book will break it down and put it all together for you. Brilliantly simplified. If you are planning on using this as a sole source for Immuno help–it won’t work. You can gain a better understanding of the general concepts and how everything is put together. I am a post bacc student at UC Berkeley extension and this book helped simplify concepts.

  5. lizzieliz – Awesome book for med school

    Awesome book for med school! Helped me Ace the block Exam. Perfect for a quick review before finals too! I wish they had these for all med school courses, but that would just be too easy.

  6. Mike – A great introductory textbook

    A great introductory textbook in Immunology! This short and easy to read textbook does a wonderful job at breaking down complex concepts into easily comprehensible visuals that will help the reader understand key critical processes involved in the functioning of the Immune System. Highly recommended for those wanting a basic understanding of Immunology.

  7. Andrew – Get this if you want to understand basic immunology

    This book is a must have for someone struggling with immunology (be honest, that means everyone, because at some point everyone will struggle with it). It will help build the fundamental understanding any future doctor, nurse, or other healthcare provider should have. As a nursing student I was so happy with this book and the key concepts it helped me to understand. The section on allergies and autoimmunity I found to be done very well, especially since those are subjects that few teachers I have met would discuss.

  8. jessie poulin – Outstanding! Highly recommend for MLT students to brush up before exams! Best book on market .

    Amazing book. Hits all the key points and really love the way it breaks down the information into simplest form! Most helpful book on the market and I have bought them all 🙂

  9. Ira S. – Excellent for medical school immunology

    For those who want a 30,000 foot view, and just the basics, in an “anyone can understand it” format, this is great!!

  10. Thuyvy Le – Must-have immunology book!

    This book is very well written and easy to follow. It explains immunology on a very proficient level. Great for medical students and healthcare professionals, as well as currently practicing docs who would like to brush up on the topic.

  11. NLR – Easy read, high yield for M1 content. Recommend.

    Huge help understanding first year medical school content. Easy read. High yield.

  12. MGGG – Didáctico

    Libro cubre de forma didáctica los principios d inmunología.

  13. A.C. – Excellent!

    This is very well written, as a review guide or just for starting out with a strong foundation. Helpful in medical school for sure.

  14. Go2014 – Ridiculously simple and concise indeed!

    I get the sense that many people are rating this book as a Board prep book, but I don’t think this book was designed for that purpose. In my opinion, this book was written to introduce immunology in a simple and concise way, and it accomplishes exactly that. It doesn’t satisfy the needs of the Board prep-ers because they try to use this as an alternative resource instead of supplement. USMLE tests for and emphasizes very specific aspects of Immunology. While this book covers those topics, it doesn’t emphasize just the “board relevant” topics since this book covers Immunology, not USMLE. It also comes to personal preference – for example, I like the table format so that I can compare and contrast all the different interleukins and such. I agree that this would be great resource for high school / college level. But I also recommend this book during the school year, before starting board-prep. It would introduce all the necessary contents in a simple way and make it easier for board studying later – it would trigger recognition, if not recall. Just as the title says, this book introduces Immunology in simple and concise way. If you recognize this and use it properly, I think you would be satisfied and get great results.

  15. James – Good place to start

    Im a 2nd year med student and its a good overview of high yield points. Easy to read and has great pictures and memory tricks.

  16. Louis Irwin – Good review

    Not all that ridiculously simple. But, how I wish I had this book back when I was struggling with this subject. What a terrifically fascinating subject immunology is. Author is doing a great service with this book.

  17. Rafael A. – Hammer down the basics for your board

    Great book for hammering down the basics of Immunology without getting into much detail and low yield facts. Good board review

  18. Morgan Watson – I would recommend to anybody in an immunology class or someone starting …

    This book really helps! I had an immunology class and this book basically followed along with my class. It gives a clear and easy-to-understand perception of immunology. I would recommend to anybody in an immunology class or someone starting one soon!

  19. P.T. – Simplified

    I love these series. It makes a mundane topic an interesting read. It’s all basic essentials and that’s how one needs to look at it. Before you make the diagnoses you have to know the normal then one can analyze the abnormal.

  20. BVN – Simple and concise overview of immunology

    This is an excellent book for medical students and whoever is interested in getting an outline/overview of what immunology is about. You may not get the most out of this book if you just want to use it for boards. But you will find it very useful if you use it as a review/summary book for immunology or if you want to know the basics of immunology. In this regard, therefore, it is a short and concise book and great for its value.

  21. Amanda – Another great book in the series

    Perfect condition thank you, looks as though it is easy to follow, and contains illustrations to help facilitate learning. I love this series!

  22. aditi – Great book for immunology

    As the name of the book states “Immunology Made Ridiculously Simple”, it makes immunology very simple. It is a helpful book for the beginners. After reading this book you get good grasp on immunology. I highly recommend this book to people.

  23. Ashum4 – Great Value

    This book is great it makes immunology like its title ridiculously simple. In addition it was a great value for the money. This will be my first stop anytime I am looking for books before i look further.

  24. Molly C. – this is hands down the best one. It is clear and concise without being …

    I’ve read a number of simplified guides (or Idiot’s Guides) on subjects I’m not well-versed in. So far, this is hands down the best one. It is clear and concise without being overly technical or using jargon. The progression of terms and concepts from the very beginning is excellent and not difficult to follow. Even the length of the chapters is helpful in holding onto new concepts. I highly recommend it.

  25. Kelly – great book!

    I rarely take the time to write a review. I am working on a graduate degree and haven’t looked at immunology in 20 years. It was like a foreign language. This book was easy to understand and a quick read. It gave me the basic knowledge to move on to the tougher material required for my course.

  26. Henry Briggs – Five Stars

    This book is very useful for clearing up concepts that are pretty difficult to understand.

  27. Philip John Swink – Five Stars

    Very helpful for breaking down immunology. It’s a small book so definitely worth your time.

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