Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

TB doesn't only attack the lungs—other organs are also vulnerable

The world marks World Tuberculosis (TB) Day on March 24 every year. Most people assume that TB only affects the lungs – but the disease can also attack other organs. The Conversation Africa's Ina Skosana spoke to Professor ...

Medical research

Antibodies stabilize plaque in arteries

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have found that type IgG antibodies play an unexpected role in atherosclerosis. A study on mice shows that the antibodies stabilise the plaque that accumulates on the artery ...

Health

Affordable Care Act delivers significant benefits for women

According to a new study appearing in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, published by Elsevier, the rate of health insurance coverage and access to affordable acute and preventive care services improved for women ...

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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.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA