Immunology

Fungus from the intestinal mucosa can affect lung health

Writing in the journal Cell, a research team from Cologne and Kiel describes the mechanism of immune cross-reactivity. The immune system's reaction to Candida albicans in the intestine seems to amplify pathogenic immune processes ...

Cancer

Treatment to a T? Taking a 'BiTE' out of lung cancer

Immune cells called T cells are key components in the fight against cancer. However, they sometimes struggle to recognize cancerous cells or to launch an appropriate response against them. T cell activity can be tweaked to ...

Neuroscience

GI neuroimmune disruption contributes to Gulf War Illness

Many Persian Gulf War veterans experience Gulf War Illness (GWI), a chronic condition with symptoms ranging from gastrointestinal to neurological. While exposure to the anti-nerve gas pyridostigmine bromide (PB) is linked ...

Immunology

Salt could be a key factor in allergic immune reactions

Salt apparently affects allergic immune reactions. A team working with Prof. Christina Zielinski at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has demonstrated in cell cultures that salt leads to the formation of Th2 cells. ...

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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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