Tolerance and auto-immunity: 50 Years after Burnet

A. Martini, G. R. Burgio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fifty years ago Sir F. Macfarlane Burnet published his first fundamental contribution to the theory of immune tolerance he perfected 10 years later. Since then an impressive amount of new information on the function of the immune system has been gathered. As any original meaningful theory, Burnet's hypothesis on the development of immune tolerance has undergone extensive modifications to take into account all these new findings. An improved understanding of the mechanisms of tolerance has led to new possibilities for the treatment of auto-immune diseases. Conclusion: All new information in the field of immune function is rooted in Burnet's contribution which set the stage for the development of modern immunology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)769-775
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Auto-immunity
  • Immune tolerance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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