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Alejandro Ivan Navarro Villarreal ID 1581580 Group 304

What is Vaccination?
Vaccination is the process of protecting the body against disease by means of vaccines. A vaccine (from latin vacca cow) is a substance used to produce active immunity, which is a suspension of pathogens with decreased virulence. These pathogens are not very dangerous anymore, but they are enough to provoke a response from the immune system, thereby making the immune system create antibodies without causing a serious illness.

A Brief History of Vaccines

In the late 1700s (around 1796), a British physician, decided to test a hypothesis he had created from rumors: that by getting cowpox, a disease with very mild effects in humans, one could be protected from the deadly smallpox. He tested it on a small child, and was successful. Though rejected at first, later in the 19th century vaccines became widespread. During the 20th century, most modern vaccines were created, like Sabin oral vaccine or HBV (Hepatitis B vaccine)

Types of Vaccines
Live-attenuated: Made with live organisms, which have been weakened by means of chemicals (like formalin), heat, or other media. Example: MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella). Live: Made with live organisms, that do not cause serious disease. Example: Cowpox. Toxoid: Made with altered toxin. Example: Tetanus vaccine. Inactivated: Made with dead organisms. Example: Jonas Salks IPV (Inactivated Polio Vaccine).


Prophylactic: Prevent disease. Ex. PCV (Pneumococcus vaccine)

Therapeutic: To treat disease. Ex. Rabies vaccine. There are investigations in place for a cancer vaccine.

Pros of Vaccines
Provide protection against otherwise fatal diseases. Much simpler to make than medicines like antibiotics or antivirals. Can eradicate disease. Extremely effective at preventing disease.

Cons of Vaccines
May produce an allergic reaction. Live vaccines can cause harm to pregnant women and immunosuppressed individuals. May not work at all. Highly mutative viruses (like rotavirus) vaccines need to be renewed every so often.


The benefits far outweigh the risks; the economic advantage is very large (1$ spent in vaccination can prevent around 7 dollars of treatment), the other risks can easily be eliminated with proper procedure, and the constant rotation of rotavirus vaccines is not very often (each year).

Monoclonal antibodies Antecedents

Until 1975, study and use of antibodies was limited because of the difficulty in isolating significant amounts of a single antibody. This is because B-cells only produce antibodies when necessary, and not enough can be acquired practically from blood, and B-cells cannot survive for long in a culture.

Monoclonal antibodies Hybridomas

A technique developed by Khler and Milstein in 1975 (for which they won the Nobel Prize in 1984) solved these problems. The technique is called somatic cell hybridization Somatic cell hybridization consists in fusing an antibodyproducing B-cells with myeloma cells. The result, a hybridoma, retains the B-cells productive capabilities and the myelomas ability to grow and reproduce indefinitely. This is usually done with mouse spleen cells.

Monoclonal Antibodies - Uses

The usefulness of monoclonal antibodies is immense: they allow scientists to acquire large amounts of a single antibody. This allows research of antibodies and use in treatment. They are used as diagnostic and research reagents as well as in human therapy. There are currently 35 monoclonal antibody preparations approved for humans by the FDA.

Monoclonal Antibodies Problems

As they are foreign compounds, the immune system may act on them, producing HAMA (Human Anti-Mouse Antibodies), which not only eliminate these antibodies, but may also create kidney-damaging complexes. This is solved through genetic engineering, that use human antibodies, and only replace the variable region with the one provided by the mouse.

References html ock.jpg/300px-The_cow_pock.jpg Cohen, B., & Taylor, J. (2009). Memmler\'s the human body in health and disease. (11th Edition ed.). Baltimore: Wolters Kluwer Business. Crown, K. (1986). The world book encyclopedia. (A ed., Vol. 10). Chicago: World Book Inc.