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Describe the principles of active immunisation?

  • Active immunity is part of the adaptive immune system.
  • It has a natural and artificial pathways.
  • In active immunity, the microbial antigen (vaccine) is administerated to a person, leads to recovery and its specific to the antigen
  • immunological memory is present


Define what is meant by the term vaccination?

Vaccination is the administration of antigenic material to stimulate an individual's immune system to develop adaptive immunity to a pathogen.


Describe the contra-indications (when not to take them) to vaccination?

  1.  Temporary
  •  Febrile illness (fever symptoms)
  •  Pregnancy 


  •  Allergy
  •  Immunocompromised 


Describe the concept of herd immunity?

Primary aim of vaccination is to protect the individual who receives the vaccination, vaccinated individuals are less likely to be a source of infection to others so reduces the risk of unvaccinated individuals being exposed to infection.



Describe the vaccination schedules for children?

Children are vaccinated with various types of vaccines unti the age of 18 years. There is also non-routine vaccines at birth such as Tuberculosis if the child is more likely to come into contact with the diease.


Describe the vaccines that may need to be given to travellers?


  • Hepatitis A

  • Typhoid 

  • Cholera

  • Yellow fever

  • Rabies


Describe the principles of passive immunisation?

  • Serum (antibody)  from immune individual is adminstrated to unaffected individual.
  • Leads to recovey
  • its specific 
  • No memory 


What are the advantages and disadvantges of passive immunisation?


  1. Gives immediate protection


  1. Short term effect – no immunological memory
  2. Serum sickness – incoming antibody is recognised as a foreign antigen by the recipient and results in anaphylaxis.



What are the advantages and disadvantges of active immunisation?

Antigen (whole organism or part of it) stimulates immune response.


  •  Long term immunity – may be lifelong
  •  Immunological memory


  •  No immediate effect (slow acting), but faster and better response to next antigenic encounter.


What are the types of vaccines?

  1. Conventional vaccines
  2. Subunit vaccines (just antigen)
  3. Toxoid (just toxin)


Describe conventional vaccines?

Kill whole organism:

  • Target organism (e.g. polio virus)  is killed.
  • Virus must be heat killed effectively – any live virus can result in vaccine-related disease

Attenuated whole organism (mainly viruses)

An avirulent strain of  target organism is isolated

  • Can be very powerful and better than killed
  • Simulate natural infection
  • Reversion back to virulent form


Describe a subunit vaccine?

A subunit vaccine presents an antigen to the immune system without introducing whole  viral particles

Recombinant protein: a protein encoded by a gene  that has been cloned in a system that supports expression of the gene and translation of messenger RNA

  • Generally very safe
  •  Not very immunogenic without an effective adjuvant (substance which enhances immunological response to antigen)



Describe Toxoid (Modified Toxin) vaccine?

  • Toxin is treated with formalin (antiseptic)
  • Toxoid retains antigenicity but has no toxic activity
  • Only induces immunity against the toxin, not the organism that produces it.


What makes a good vaccine?

Potent antibody response – high antibody titers

• Potent  CD8+ cytotoxic T cell response

CD4+ T helper response



What are the challenges facing vaccines?

  • Conventional vaccines cannot elicit immunity against all infectious disease.

  • Antigenic shift and drift, and strain diversity in general

  • Persistence – ideally vaccines should give life long protection


The young and the old


  • Vulnerability <18–24 months to encapsulated bacteria such as pneumococcus, Hib and meningococcus
  • Fewer FDC, and B cells do not express costimulatory molecules
  • Short term antibody production


  • Reduced efficacy or responsiveness to vaccination
  •  Oligoclonal responses lacking specificity
  •  Reduced plasma cell survival niches