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Specific Host Defense Mechanism: Introduction to Immunology


• Scientific study of the immune system and immune



• person studies immunology

Third line of defense

• Specific host defense mechanism

Antigens Antibodies
Stimulate Produced in
production of response to
antibodies antigens
Primary Functions of the Immune System

Differentiate between “self” and “non-self”

Destroy that which in “non-self”

Major Arms of the Immune System

Humoral Cell-Mediated
Production of antibodies
Involves different cell types
• Remains in the plasma, lymph, and other body secretions

anti-body-mediated immunity (AMI) Antibodies do not play a major role


• When one is resistant to a certain disease


• Condition of being immune

Acquired Immunity

• Immunities acquired as life progresses

Acquired Immunity
 Results from the active production or receipt of protective
antibodies during one’s lifetime
 Active acquired immunity
 Ifantibodies are produced within the person’s body
 Long-lasting

 Passive acquired immunity

 Receivesantibodies produced by another person
 temporary
Natural and Artificial Passive Immunity
 Natural passive acquired immunity
 Present in the mother’s blood cross the placenta to reach the
fetus while it is in the uterus

 Artificial passive acquired immunity

 Transferring antibodies from an immune person to a susceptible
• Acquired by a
• Entry of a live fetus
pathogen • Maternal
• Infection antibodies
• colostrum
Natural Natural
active passive

Artificial Artificial
active passive
• Vaccines • Antisera
or gamma
 Material that can artificially induce immunity to an
infectious disease

 Person is exposed to harmless version of a

pathogen (a toxin) which will stimulate the person’s
immune system to produce protective antibodies
and memory cells
Ideal Vaccine

Has enough antigenic determinants to stimulate the immune system to

produce antibodies

Contains antigenic determinants from all strains that cause that


Has few side effects (preferably no disease)

Does not cause disease in vaccinated person.

Types of Vaccines
1. Attenuated
2. Inactivated
3. Subunit
4. Conjugate
5. Toxoid
6. DNA
7. Autogenous
Action of Vaccines
 Stimulate the recipient’s immune system to produce
 Vaccines stimulate the body to produce protective
antibodies that are directed against surface antigens
Cells of the Immune System
 T Lymphocytes (T cells)
 Helper T-cells/ T-helper cells/T cells/CD4 cells
 Function is secretion of cytokines
 TH1 – Type 1 cytokines
 TH2 – Type 2 cytokines
 Cytotoxic T-cells/T cytotoxic cells/Tc Cells/CD8 cells
 Destroy virally infected host cells,foreign cells and tumor cells
 B Lymphocytes (B cells)
 NK Cells (a category of lymphocytes)
 Macrophages
Why do Immune Responses Occur
 Lymphatic System
 Site and source of most immune

 Spleen
 Initiates immune responses to
antigens in the blood

 Lymph nodes
 Responses to microbes and other
antigens and tissues
Humoral Immunity
 Special glycoproteins called antibodies are produced by B
cells in response to antigens
 These antibodies are capable of recognizing, binding to, and
inactivating or destroying specific pathogens
 Antigens
 Foreign organic substances that are large enough to stimulate
the production of antibodies
 antibody-generating substance
 Antigenic
 Bacteria; antigenic determinants/epitopes
Processing of Antigens in the Body
 T - dependent antigens
 T-cellsare involved in the processing
 Dependent on T-cells
 Involves macrophages and B-cells

 T- independent antigens
 Processing requires only B-cells
 Procesing occurs independently of T cells
 Primary response - Initial immune response
 10-14 daysfor antibodies to be produced
 When the antigen is used up, the number of antibodies in the
blood declines as the plasma cells die
 Other antigen-stimulated B-cells become memory cells

 Secondary response – Second exposure

 Ex.boostershot
 Anamnestic response/memory response
Antibody Structure
 All antibodies are
immunoglobulins, but not all
immunoglobulins are antibodies
 Resembles the letter Y
Antigen-Antibody Complexes
Capable of activating the complement cascade

Activation of leukocytes

Lysis of bacterial cells

Increased phagocytosis
How Antibodies Protect Us from Pathogens
Monoclonal Antibodies
 Hybridoma
 Long-lived, antibody-producing cell

 Monoclonal antibodies
 Specific antibodies produced by hybridomas
 Used in IDPs – immonulogic procedure used in laboratories to
diagnose disease
Cell-Mediated Immunity
Cell-Mediated Immunity
 Capable of controlling chronic infections by intracellular
Hypersensitivity and Hypersensitivity Reaction
 Overly sensitive or overly reactive immune system
 Types of hypersensitivity reactions
 Immediate type
 Occur within 24 hours after the contact
 Type I, II and II
 Delayed type
 More than 24 hours
 Type 4
 Cell-mediated reaction
Hypersensitivity Reactions

Type I – Anaphylactic; IgE

Type II – Cytotoxic; IgG or IgM
Type III – Immune Complex
Type IV – Delayed Type
Type I – Anaphylactic Reactions
 Classic allergic responses
 Hay fever symptoms
 Asthma
 Hives
 Gastrointestinal symptoms that result
from allergies; allergic responses to
insect stings and drugs; anaphylactic

 Involve IgE antibodies and the release

of chemical mediators (esp. Histamine)
from mast cells and basophils
Type II: Cytotoxic Reactions
 Body cells are destroyed
 Include cytotoxic reactions that
occur in incompatible blood
transfusions, Rh incompatability
reactions, and myasthenia
 Involve IgG or IgM antibodies
adn complement
Type III: Immune Complexes
 Result of binding of an
antibody with the antigen that
stimulated its production
 Serum sickness and certain
autoimmune diseases (SLE &
 IgG adn IgM, complement,
and neutrophil
Type IV –Delayed Type Hypersensitivity (DTH)

 Cell-mediated Immune reactions

 Part of CMI
 Observed 24-48 hours
 Tuberculin and fungal skin test,
contact dermatitis,
transplantation rejection
 Prime mode of defense against
intracellular bacteria and fungi
TB skin test
 Mantoux skin test

 Either tuberclulin or purified

protein derivative (PPD),
protein extracts prepared from
Mycobacterium tuberculosis
cultures, is injected
intradermally into a person
The following events occur to produce the positive reaction:

• Within 2 to 3 hours after injection of the PPD, there is an influx of

1 polymorphonuclear cells (PMNs) into the site

• This is followed by an influx of lymphocytes and macrophages while the PMNs

2 disperse

• Within 12 to 18 hours, the area becomes red (erythematous) and swollen

3 (edematous)

• The erythema (redness) and edema (swelling) reach maximum intensity between 24
4 and 48 hours

• With time, as the swelling and redness disappear, the lymphocytes and
5 macrophages disperse
Reasons for positive TB Results
Active Tuberculosis

Had tuberculosis and recovered

Was infected

Currently harbors M. tuberculosis

BCG vaccination
BCG Vaccine

 Attenuated strain of
Mycobacterium bovis

 50 % effective
Autoimmunine Diseases
Autoimmune Diseases
 When person’s immune system no longer recognizes certain
body tissues as self and attempts to destroy those tissues as
if they were nonself or foreign
 May occur in tissues that are not exposed to the immune
system during fetal development
 Lens of the eye
 Brain
 Spinal cord
 Sperm
 Subsequent exposure to this tissue (by surgery or injury) may
alllow antibodies (IgG or IgM) to be formed, could cause
destruction of theses tissues resulting to blindness, allergic
encephalitis, or sterility
Organ Non-
Specific Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
organ Skin (Dermatomyositis)
Graves disease specific Kidneys
Primary myxoedema Joints
thyrotoxicosis Muscles (Myasthenia
(All 3, thyroid) gravis)

Pernicious anemia
SLE (kidneys, lungs, skin,
(gastric mucosa) brain)
Addison’s disease Scleroderma (skin, lungs,
(adrenal glands) kidneys and GIT)
Insulin-dependent DM RA (joints)

Autoimmune diseases are the result of Types II, III and IV Hypersensitivity
 Immunosuppressed, immunodepressed, immunocompromised
 Malnutrition – most common immune deficiency worldwide
 Acquired and Inherited
Acquired Inherited
Deficiencies in antibody production,
Drugs complement activity, phagocytic
function or NK cell function
Chronic granulomatous disease,
Irradiation Chediak Higashi syndrome

infectious disease
Severe combined immune deficiency
• B-cells and/or T cell deficiencies

DiGeorge syndrome

• congenital absence of parathyroid gland

Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome

• deficiencies in B cells, T cells, monocytes, and platelets

The Immunology Laboratory
Immunodiagnostic Procedures
 Help diagnose infectious disease by deteting either antigens
or antibodies
 Often available the same day
 Serologic procedures - performed on serum specimens
 Some IDPs are designed to
detect antigents, whereas
other detect antibodies
 Antigen Detection
 pathogen is present
 Direct evidence

 Antibody detection
 Indirect evidence
Explanations for the presence of Antibodies

Present Infection
Antibodies Past Infection
Antigen Detection
 Antigens provides the BEST proof of current infection

 Antigen detection procedures are not available for many

infectious disease

Antibody Detection
 Takes 10-14 days to produce detectible antibodies
2 Ways to increase the value of Antibody Detection

 To specifically test for IgM Antibodies

 1st antibodies to be produce during initial exposure to an antigen
 Short-lived
 Presence of IgM antibodies directed against a particular pathogen is evidence
that the pathogens is currently infecting the indivudual
 To use paired antisera
 Acute serum and convalescent serum is collected
 Rise in antibody titer is an evidence that the patiet is actively producing
Immunodiagnostic Procedures for Detection of Antibodies
in a Patient’s Serum
Immunodiagnostic Procedures for Detection of
Antibodies in a Patient’s Serum