Related topics: immune system

Filming how our immune system kill bacteria

To kill bacteria in the blood, our immune system relies on nanomachines that can open deadly holes in their targets. UCL scientists have now filmed these nanomachines in action, discovering a key bottleneck in the process ...

Dormant viruses activate during spaceflight

Herpes viruses reactivate in more than half of crew aboard Space Shuttle and International Space Station missions, according to NASA research published in Frontiers in Microbiology. While only a small proportion develop symptoms, ...

Researchers discover how cells remember infections decades later

A perplexing question in immunology has been, how do immune cells remember an infection or a vaccination so that they can spring into action decades later? Research led by scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, ...

Scientists develop novel nano-vaccine for melanoma

Researchers at Tel Aviv University have developed a novel nano-vaccine for melanoma, the most aggressive type of skin cancer. Their innovative approach has so far proven effective in preventing the development of melanoma ...

Cuttlefish ink found promising for cancer treatment

Researchers have found that cuttlefish ink—a black suspension sprayed by cuttlefish to deter predators—contains nanoparticles that strongly inhibit the growth of cancerous tumors in mice. The nanoparticles consist mostly ...

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Immunity (medical)

Immunity is a biological term that describes a state of having sufficient biological defenses to avoid infection, disease, or other unwanted biological invasion. Immunity involves both specific and non-specific components. The non-specific components act either as barriers or as eliminators of wide range of pathogens irrespective of antigenic specificity. Other components of the immune system adapt themselves to each new disease encountered and are able to generate pathogen-specific immunity.

Adaptive immunity is often sub-divided into two major types depending on how the immunity was introduced. Naturally acquired immunity occurs through contact with a disease causing agent, when the contact was not deliberate, whereas artificially acquired immunity develops only through deliberate actions such as vaccination. Both naturally and artificially acquired immunity can be further subdivided depending on whether immunity is induced in the host or passively transferred from a immune host. Passive immunity is acquired through transfer of antibodies or activated T-cells from an immune host, and is short lived, usually lasts only a few months, whereas active immunity is induced in the host itself by antigen, and lasts much longer, sometimes life-long. The diagram below summarizes these divisions of immunity.

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