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Flashcards in Immunology Deck (39):

What is a non specific response

A response which is immediate and the same for all pathogens


What are some examples of non specific response

Physical barriers (skin)
Chemical barriers (HCl in stomach)


What is an antigen

Any protein or glycoprotein on the cell surface membrane which stimulate an immune response


What are two types of phagocyte

Macrophages and neutrophils

They are non specific in their response to pathogens- engulf and digest all foreign cells and viruses


What is a specific response

A response which is slower and specific to each pathogen


What are some examples of a specific response

Cell mediated response (T lymphocytes)
Humoral response ( B lymphocytes) which produce antibodies


What does the immune system identify

- non self material from individuals of the same species (organ transplant)
- abnormal body cells (cancer cells or cell infected with viral particles)


Where are B lymphocytes produced

Produced in the bone marrow
Mature in the bone marrow and then concentrate in the lymph nodes and spleen


Where are T lymphocytes produced

Produced in the bone marrow
Mature in the thymus


What are the 3 types of T lymphocyte

Helper T cells (Th cells)
Memory T cells
Cytotoxic T cell (Tc)


What do T helper cells do

-attract and stimulate phagocytes to engulf more pathogens by releasing chemicals called cytokines
- they activate cytotoxic T cells
- they activate B cells to divide which increases antibody production
-develop into memory T cells hitch remain in the blood - allows the immune response to respond quicker to a future infection by the same pathogen


What does a cytotoxic T cell do

- destroys the body's own cells infected with viruses or cancer cells
- by complementary binding of antigen and receptor and releases the protein PERFORMIN which punches holes in the cell membrane of the antigen


What is a plasma cell

- secrete lots of specific monoclonal antibodies
- survive only a few days but produce about 2000 antibodies a second
- responsible for the primary response


What is a memory cell

-circulate in the blood for years
- don't produce antibodies
- if they encounter the same antigen they divide and produce more plasma cells
- secondary immune response


What does an antibody consist of

Antigen binding sites
Heavy chain of polyproteins
Light chain of polyproteins
Joined by disulphide bridges

( has a constant region and a variable region)


What are antibodies features

Made of 4 polypeptide chains
Form antigen- antibody complexes
THEY DON'T HAVE ACTIVE SITES - antigen binding sites

Each binding site is made up of a specific sequence of amino acids folded into a specific 3D shape (tertiary structure)


What do antibodies do

They DON'T destroy pathogens directly
They DO bind to specific antigens to form antigen- antibody complexes
They DO prepare them for destruction by phagocytes by agglutination
They DO neutralise viruses


What are the advantages of vaccinations

Can eradicate
Fewer people get the disease
Cheaper than healthcare
Less chance of people dying
Become immune without getting the disease
Herd immunity


What are the disadvantages of vaccinations

Side effects (eg rashes)
Can get a mild version of the disease
Allergic reactions


What does AIDS stand for

acquired immune deficiency syndrome


What are the signs and symptoms of AIDS

Dramatic weight loss
Pneumocystis carnill
Gum and mouth infection
Kaposi's sarcoma


What does HIV stand for

Human immunodeficiency virus


What is special about HIV

It's a retrovirus


What is a retrovirus

Means it contains RNA rather than DNA
Viral DNA is made of viral RNA by reverse transcription using the viral enzyme reverse transcriptase
Viral DNA is incorporated into host DNA in the nucleus by viral enzyme integrase


What are the consequences of HIV infection

Loss of Th cells
T cells are killed by T killer cells (Cytotoxic T cell)
Reduces the number of T and B lymphocytes meaning there's fewer lymphocytes in the blood, slowing down the immune response


What is the acute phase

Lasts 3-12 weeks
Rapid viral multiplication and loss of Th cells
Symptoms: headaches, sweat, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes
Increase in HIV antibodies- now HIV positive
Cytotoxic T cells destroy the infected Th cells


Chronic phase (asymptomatic or latent phase)

Can last up to 20 years
Viruses continue to reproduce and infect T cells but numbers kept in check immune system
Active virus present so HIV positive individuals are infectious
Multiple rapidly (x10 9 produced each day)
Reduced immune system inefficiency


Disease phase

Increase in the number of viruses and ever declining number of T helper cells which weakens the immune system
Opportunistic infections- infections normally controlled in healthy people but potentially life threating
Includes TB, pneumonia and cryptosporidiosis


What is active immunity?

Becomes immune by producing its own antibodies after being stimulated by an antigen


What is passive immunity?

Become immune by being given antibodies made by a different organism

Natural- when a baby becomes immune due to the antibodies it receives through breast milk

Artificial- when you become immune after being infected with antibodies from someone else


What are the differences between active and passive immunity

-requires exposure to an antigen
- takes time for protection to develop
- memory cells are produced
- protection is long term- antibodies are produced which are complementary to the antigen

- doesn't require exposure to an antigen
- immediate response
-memory cells aren't produced
- protection is short term- antibodies are broken down


What are the ethical issues with vaccination

- religious issues
- issues with animal testing
- vaccination on humans can be risky- some side effects sometimes
- if there was an epidemic of a new disease there would be a rush of people who would want the vaccine and there would be difficult decisions on who would receive it first


What is antigenic variation

Where the pathogens change their antigens


What is herd immunity

Where unvaccinated people are protected because of the occurrence of the disease is reduced by the number of people who are vaccinated


What is an example of antigenic variation

The influenza virus changes each year meaning people have to be vaccinated each year, especially those who are susceptible to the virus (people aged 65+)


What is a polyclonal antibody

Are a collection of many different types of antibody
- with different variable regions
-with different bonding sites which are complementary to different antigens


What are monoclonal antibodies

Collection of a single type of antibody that has been isolated and cloned
- produced by fusion of single plasma cells with a tumour cell


What are the uses of monoclonal antibodies

1. Targeting medication to specific cell types by attaching a therapeutic drug to an antibody

Direct monoclonal antibody
-specific to antigens on the cancer cells are produced

Indirect monoclonal antibody
- magic bullets
- attaching radioactive drug or cytotoxic drug to the monoclonal antibody

2. Medical diagnosis
Diagnosis of influenza, HIV and many cancers


Direct Elisa test

-attach monoclonal to PSA to bottom of the well
- any PSA in patients plasma will adhere to antibodies
-well washed to remove any unstuck antigens
- add second antibody complementary to antigen
- washed again to remove any unbound antibodies
- add substate -> induce a colour change if complementary