Medical research

Immune system may have another job—combatting depression

An inflammatory autoimmune response within the central nervous system similar to one linked to neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) has also been found in the spinal fluid of healthy people, according ...

Oncology & Cancer

Increasing the effectiveness of immunotherapy against skin cancer

The melanoma is a malignant tumor of the pigment cells. If diagnosed early, the tumor can be removed completely—and the chances of recovery are good. But in later stages, when the tumor has already spread or formed metastases ...

Oncology & Cancer

Immunotherapy improves survival in advanced bladder cancer patients

An immunotherapy drug called 'avelumab' has been shown to significantly improve survival in patients with the most common type of bladder cancer, according to results from a phase III clinical trial led by Queen Mary University ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Neurologic function and COVID-19

My family has a history of neurologic disease. My grandfather died from a stroke. An uncle was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease at 40, and my brother recently was diagnosed with an aneurysm. I'm wondering if ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Biomarker predicts who will have severe COVID-19

KAIST researchers have identified key markers that could help pinpoint patients who are bound to get a severe reaction to COVID-19 infection. This would help doctors provide the right treatments at the right time, potentially ...

Inflammatory disorders

Antibiotic pre-treatment reduces joint inflammation

Tearing an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) can be an excruciatingly painful injury. Nearly 50 percent of these patients will develop a secondary form of osteoarthritis, deemed post-traumatic osteoarthritis (PTOA).

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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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