Immunology

New proof that narcolepsy is an autoimmune disease

Researchers from the University of Copenhagen have discovered autoreactive cells in persons suffering from narcolepsy. This is a new, important proof that the sleep disorder is an autoimmune disease. This knowledge may lead ...

Inflammatory disorders

'Inflamm-aging' causes loss of bone healing ability in the elderly

Increases in chronic inflammation—not the passage of time—is the main reason why injured bones do not heal as well with age. This is the finding of a study in mice and humans published March 18 in the Proceedings of the ...

Cancer

Reprograming T cells to attack solid tumors

An attractive approach to liver cancer treatment is to bolster the body's own immune defenses. Now an international team involving A*STAR researchers has genetically engineered human T cells to endow them with both specificity ...

Medical research

Revealing a potential new marker for aggressive prostate cancer

Scientists are constantly looking for new ways to improve cancer treatment, particularly for aggressive tumours. But spotting which cancers are aggressive when they're first diagnosed can be tough, particularly in prostate ...

Immunology

Meningitis changes immune cell makeup in the mouse brain lining

Meningitis, a group of serious diseases which infect the brain's lining, leaves its mark and can affect the body's ability to fight such infections in the future. According to a new study published in Nature Immunology, infections ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Solution sought to 'sticky' staph situation

David Heinrichs faces a potentially deadly adversary found on the skin of almost 30 per cent of the population – and the battle just got a whole lot stickier.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

New treatment in the works for disfiguring skin disease, vitiligo

In many parts of the world there is great shame and stigma tied to vitiligo, an autoimmune disease of the skin that causes disfiguring white spots, which can appear anywhere on the body. In some societies, individuals with ...

Cancer

The story of GARP: a potential target for cancer immunotherapy

Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in both men and women. Despite significant advances in therapies for this particular cancer, the five-year survival rate is 12 percent, according to the ...

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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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