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 ...

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. ...

Cancer

Study finds way to potentially improve immunotherapy for cancer

A new study has identified a drug that potentially could make a common type of immunotherapy for cancer even more effective. The study in laboratory mice found that the drug dasatinib, which is FDA-approved to treat certain ...

Neuroscience

Scientists create new map of brain's immune system

A team of researchers under the direction of the Medical Center—University of Freiburg has created an entirely new map of the brain's own immune system in humans and mice. The scientists demonstrated for the first time ...

Immunology

How the 'Iron Man' of immune cells helps T cells fight infection

The immune system's killer T cells are crucial in fighting viral infections. A fraction of them, called 'memory cells', live on once infection is controlled in order to fight re-infection by the same virus. They are of great ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

'Killer' cells raise hope of universal flu vaccine

Scientists said Monday they had discovered immune cells that can fight all known flu viruses in what was hailed as an "extraordinary breakthrough" that could lead to a universal, one-shot vaccine against the killer disease.

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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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