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Functions of the Immune System
- 1. Primary functions:
- .....a. Maintain good health
- .....b. Protect body from harmful substances:
- ..........(1) Allergens - produre allergic reactions
- ..........(2) Malignant cells - life-threatening cancers
- ..........(3) Pathogens - disease-producing microorganisms
- ..........(4) Toxins - poisonous or harmful substances
- 2. First line of defense is to prevent entry through:
- .....a. Intact skin
- .....b. Respiratory system
- .....c. Digstive system
- .....d. Lymphatic system
, if the above fail, then immune system
begins to work to destroy harmful substances.
Intact skin - first line of defense
Wraps body in physical barrier to prevent entry of invading organisms.
Respiratory system - first line of defense
1. Traps breathed-in foreign matter with nose hairs & moist muscous membrane lining respiratory system.
2. Tonsils form protective ring around entrance to throat
3. IF foreign matter gets past these barriers, coughing & sneezing help expel it from respiratory sytem.
Digestive sytem - first line of defense
Uses acids & enzymes produced by stomach to destroy invaders that are swallowed or consumed with food.
Structures & specialized white blood cells work together to attack & destory pathogens that have succeeded in entering body
1. Known as the immune reaction this involves binding antigens to antibodies
2. Reaction labels a potentially dangerous antigen so it can be recognized & destroyed by other cells of the immune system.
- Any substance that the body regards as foreign, including:
- .....a. Bacteria
- .....b. Transplanted tissues
- .....c. Toxins
- .....d. Viruses
2. Immune system immediately responds to
presence of any antigen.
Substance tht produces an allergic reaction in an individual
Disease-fighting protein created by the immune system in response to the presence of a specific antigen.
NOTE: Terms antibody & immunoglobulin often used interchangeably.
1. Binds with specific antigens in the antigen-antibody response.
2. 5 primary types of immunoglobulin secreted by plasma cells (are also known as classes of antibodies)
produced predominantly against INGESTED antigens
- in saliva, sweat, tears
- prevent ATTACHMENT of viruses & bacteria to epithelial surfaces lining most organs
- Antibodies found only on surface of B cells
- Produced in lungs, skin, & mucous membranes
- responsible for allergic reactions
- most abundant class
- in blood serum & lymph
- active against bacteria, foreign particles, fungi, & viruses
- .....e. IgM - Found in circulating body fluids - FIRST ANTIBODIES TO APPEAR in response to an initial exposure to an antigen.
Specialized white blood cells that produce antibodies to destroy specific antigens.
1. Produced predominantly against INGESTED antigens
2. In saliva, sweat, & tears.
3. Prevent ATTACHMENT of viruses & bacteria to epithelial surfaces lining most organs
1. Antibodies found only on surface of B cells
2. Important in B cell
- 3. B cells are most effective against viruses & bacteria circulating in the blood
- 4. When B cell is confronted with the antigen it is coded to destroy, it is transformed into a plasma B cell capable of producing & secreting antibodies codes to destroy the specific antigen.
Usually co-expressed with IgM
1. Class of antibodies produced in the lungs, skin, & muscous membranes.
2. Responsible for allergic reactions.
1. Most abundant class of antibodies
2. Found in blood serum & lymph.
3. Active against bacteria, fungi, viruses, & foreign particles
1. Class of antibodies found in circulating body fluids.
2. FIRST antibodies TO APPEAR in response to an INITIAL EXPOSURE to an antigen.
1. White blood cells
that are formed in the bone marrow as stem cells.
2. Undergo further maturation & differentiation in lymphoid tissues throughout the body.
3. Changes enable lymphocytes to act as specialized antibodies capable of attacking specific antigens.
Process of becoming mature.
Means to be modified to perform a specific function
B cell (B-lymphocytes)
1. Specialized lymphocytes that produce & secrete antibodies.
2. Each lymphocyte makes a specific antibody capable of destroying a specific antigen.
3. Most effective against viruses & bacteria circulating in the blood.
4. When confronted with the antigen it is coded to destroy, the B cell is transformed into Plasma B cell
5. Plasma B cells are capable of producing & secreting antibodies coded to destroy a specific antigen.
1. Specialized white blood cells that patrol the body searching for antigens that produce infections.
2. When such a cell is found, the dendritic cells grab, swallow, & internally break apart the captured antigen.
3. Fragments of the detroyed antigen are moved to the surface of the cell where these fragments are displayed on tentacle-like extensions of the dendritic cell to alert & activate T cells to protect against this specific antigen.
T cells (T-lymphocytes)
1. Small lymphocytes
that mature in the thymus as a result of exposure to hormone thymosin
, secreted by the thymus.
- 2. T cells contribute to immune defense by:
- .....a. Coordinating immune defenses
- .....b. Killing infected cells on contact
- 3. Produced by the T cell
- .....a. Interferon - family of proteins - fight viruses by slowing or stopping multiplication
- .....b. Lymphokines - produced by T cells to direct antigen-antibody response by signaling between cells of immune system - attract macrophages & prepare them to attack invaders
1. Family of proteins produced by T cells
2. Specialty is fighting viruses by slowing or stopping their multiplication
1. Produced by T cells
2. Direct antigen-antibody response by signaling between cells of the immune system
3. Attract macrophages to the infected site & prepare them to attack invaders.
1. Type of white blood cell that surrounds & kills invading cells.
2. Also remove dead cells & stimulate the action of other immune cells
1. Large white blood cells that can destroy substances such as cell debris, dust, pollen, & pathogens by the process of phagocytosis
Process of destroying pathogens by surrounding & swallowing them.
1. Group of proteins that normally circulate in the blood in an inactive form
2. Are activated by contact with nonspecific antigens such as foreign blood cells or bacteria.
3. Complement then marks these antigens & attracts phagocytes to destroy them.
1. State of being resistant to a specific disease.
- 2. There are 2 general types of immunity:
- .....a. Inate immunity - Inflammatory response - Not targeted to specific antigens
- .....b. Adaptive immunity - Antibodies TARGETED to specific antigens
Adaptive Immuity (targeted antibodies)
- 1. There are 2 broad TYPES of adaptive immuity:
- .....a. Natural - Occurs without medical intervention - Is a normal biological function
- .....b. Artifical - Occurs with medical intervention
- 2. Natural & artificial immunity may be ACQUIRED either passively or actively.
1. Body FORMS OWN antibodies
2. There is typically a lag time between exposure & antibody.
1. Antibodies PASSED to, NOT MADE in person's body
2. This type is generally immediate and short-term.
Natural Active (Acquired Active) Immuity
1. Occurs when an infection causes the body to form its own antibodies.
2. This type of immunity is generally permanent.
3. Example: Contracting an infectious disease such as chickenpox.
Natural Passive (Acquired Passive) Immunity
1. Antibodies are passed from mother to baby, in utero & after birth through milk.
2. This type of immuity is temporary.
Artificial Active Immunity
1. Occurs when a patient is given vccine that causes the body to form its own antibodies against a specific antigen.
2. This type of immunity is long-lasting but may fade with time.
3. Example: Vaccination against a disease such as poliomyelitis
NOTE: One may acquire this type of immunity THROUGH a vaccination, but 'vaccination' is NOT A TYPE of immunity
Vaccination (also known as immunization)
Provide protection for susceptible individuals from communicable diseases by administration of a vaccine to provide acquired immunity against a specific disease.
Preparation containing an antigen, consisting of a whole or partial disease-causing organism, which may have been killed or weakened (attenuated.)
Artificial Passive Immunity
1. Occurs when a patient is given an immune serum (synthetic immunoglobulin) following exposure to certain viruses.
2. This type of immunity is typically temporary.
3. Example: May be given after bite by rabid animal or for certain types of hepaititis
Effectiveness of the Immune System Depends on
1. General health
- can't be fully effective, if compromised by poor health
- 2. Age
- .....a. Older individuals:
- ............(1.) Have more acquired immunity
- ............(2.) Their immune systems tend to respond less quickly and effectively to new challenges.
- .....b. Babies & very young children:
- ..........(1.) Do not yet have as much acquired immunity
- ..........(2.) Their bodies sometimes have difficulty resisting challenges to the immune system
- Genes & genetic disorders
affect the individual's general health & the functioning of the immune system
Occurs when the body's immune system reacts to a harmless allergen such as pollen, food, or animal dander, as if it were a dangerous invader.
Hypersensitivity or overreaction of the body to a particular antigen.
Localized Allergic Reaction (Cellular response)
1. Includes redness, itching, & burning when skin has come into contact with an allergen such as poison ivy.
2. Although the body reacts mildly the first time it is exposed to the allergen, sensitivity is estabished, and future contact can cause much more servere symptoms.
Systemic Reaction (Anaphylaxis)
1. Anaphylactic shock is a severe reaction to an allergen.
2. Symptoms develop quickly and without medical aid, the patient can die within a few minutes.
1. Medications administered to relieve or prevent the symptoms of hay fever, (a common allergy to wind-borne pollens) and other types of allergies.
2. Antihistamine work by preventing the effects of histamine.
Substance produced by the body that causes the itching, sneexing, runny nose, and watery eyes of an allergic reaction.
Autoimmune Disorder (Autoimmune disease)
1. Any of a large group of diseases characterized by a condition in which the immune system produces antibodies againt its own tissues.
2. This abnormal functioning of the immune system appears to be genetically transmitted and predominantly occurs in women during the chidbearing years.
3. Autoimmune disorders affect most body systems.
Occurs when the immune response is compromised.
Means weakened, reduced, absent, or not functioning properly.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
Bloodborne infection in which the virus damages or kills the cells of the immune system
, causing it to progressively fail
, thus leaving the body at risk of
developing many life-threatening opportunistic infections.
- 1. In the early stages of HIV, medical intervention can prolong the patient's life.
2. Caused by a retrovirus that attacks & destroys helper T cells.
1. Caused by a pathogen that does not normally produce an illness in healthy humans.
2. When host is debilitated these pathogens are able to cause an infection.
Mean weakened by another condition.
NOTE: Because the immune systems of patients with HIV or AIDS are weakened, many opportunistic infections can develop.
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
Most advanced, and fatal, stage of an HIV infection.
1. A cancer that causes patches of abnormal tissue to grow under the skin, in the lining of the mouth, nose, and throat, and in other organs.
2. This is an example of an opportunistic infection that is frequently associated with HIV.
Acronym for enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, a blood test used to screen for the presence of HIV antibodies.
Western Blot Test
1. Blood test that produces more accurate results than the ELISA test for HIV.
2. The Western blot test is performed to confirm the diagnosis when the results of the ELISA test are postive.
3. This is necessary because the ELISA sometimes produces false positive results.
A test result that erroneously classifies in a positive category due to imperfect testing methods or procedures.
1. Disease treatment that involves either stimulating or repressing the immune response.
2. In treatment of CANCERS immunotherapy is used to stimulate the immune system to fight the malignancy.
3. In treatment of ALLERGIES, immunotherapy is used to repress the body's sensitivity to a particular allergen. This is also called allergy desensitization.
Means to cause to greater activity
Means to decrease, slow, or stop a normal response.
Synthetic immunoglobulin (Immune serum)
Used as a postexposure preventive measure against certain viruses, including rabies and some types of hepatitis.
1. Means that the patient has already been exposed to the virus. for example bitten by an animal with rabies.
2. The goal of the treatment is to prevent the disease from developing.
Used in the treatment of multiple sclerosis, hepatitis C, and some cancers.
1. Any of a class of antibodies produced in the laboratory by identical offspring of a clone of specific cells.
2. Artifically produced antibodies are used to enhance the patient's immune response to certain malignancies, including some non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, melanoma, breast cancer and colon cancer.
Means pertaining to a single clone of cells. As used in referring to monoclonal antibodies, a clone is an exact replica of group of bacteria.
Treatment to repress or interfere with the ability of the immune system to respond to stimulation by antigens.
1. Substance that prevents or reduces the body's normal immune response.
2. Medication administered to prevent rejection of donor tissue and to depress autoimmune disorders.
Hormone-like preparation administered primarily as an anti-inflammatory and as an immunosuppressant.
1. Medication that kills or damages cells
2. These drugs are used as immunosuppressants or as antineoplastics.