The study of the immune system in organisms, primarily responsible for fighting infection.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

7
votes
1answer
1k views

If fever is a natural immune defense, why do people take drugs to lower it?

If fever is a natural defense against pathogens, why do sick people take NSAIDs to reduce the fever?
16
votes
2answers
9k views

Why don't we develop immunity against common cold?

We all suffer from common cold, and that, frequently. Why have we not developed immunity against it till now? By immunity I mean immunity as a species.
4
votes
2answers
413 views

Why White Blood Cells (WBCs) do not react to foreign bodies like sperm?

Why do the white blood cells allow foreign bodies like sperm to exist inside body cavity without any reaction? White blood cells function is to fight against foreign bodies (from the text books).
8
votes
2answers
590 views

What is the smallest molecule that can present as an antigen to the immune system in the context of allergies?

People often claim, in a colloquial sense, that they are "allergic to everything". Is it possible to have a full-fledged IgE mediated allergic response to very small molecules? I was always under ...
7
votes
2answers
148 views

Why is there no way to remove an immune response?

We've known for a long time now how to "add a new entry to the database," as it were, of immune responses. It's called vaccination, and it's been one of the greatest success stories in the history of ...
14
votes
1answer
24k views

At what age do babies begin to synthesize their own antibodies?

When babies are first born, they receive their antibodies from their mother (I assume because they do not yet have the capacity to synthesize their own). So my question is, at what age do babies ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Why do I need a flu shot every year, while many other vaccinations last years or even a lifetime?

Is it a viral vs. bacterial thing? Is there just more variety among types of flu than other diseases, so that this year's vaccines don't cover next year's flu?
8
votes
2answers
231 views

How are antibodies designed?

Antibodies have the ability of recognising highly specific peptide sequences and bind it at their antigen-binding site. This ability is harnessed as a tool in research to purify target structures in ...
1
vote
2answers
108 views

human anti-mouse antibody

I have heard about human anti-mouse antibodies (HAMAs) and read that HAMAs neutralize murine antibodies, therefore decreasing the effectiveness of those murine antibodies. Is this true that HAMAs ...
-1
votes
1answer
120 views

What do the names of Immunoglobulin subtypes mean? [closed]

What is the exact meaning and full form of IgM IgG IgA etc? What is the rationale behind the names of the isotypes, if there is one? For example, what does "M" mean in IgM?
13
votes
1answer
361 views

How does herpes (HSV) infection suppress HIV?

HIV compromises the human body to defend against infection. Yet people who are infected with herpes are at less risk of developing AIDS. How does this work?
7
votes
1answer
117 views

How plasma cells switches secreting different Ig classes?

In Type 1 hypersensitivity how do B lymphocytes switch Ig classes, from synthesizing IgG to IgE? What is the mechanism? I studied multiple pathology books, it says the same as for IgG secreting ...
19
votes
4answers
3k views

How does the immune system “learn” from a vaccine?

According to Wikipedia: A vaccine typically contains an agent that resembles a disease-causing microorganism, and is often made from weakened or killed forms of the microbe, its toxins or one ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

How Do White Blood Cells Learn? Or Do They?

So I get the concept that a vaccine is a weakened form of a virus so that the body can "learn" to fight it and make a person immune to that disease, but how exactly does this learning take place? What ...
9
votes
1answer
128 views

Why is there an extended delay before G.M. liver cells are attacked by the immune system?

In this BBC article a trial is described where patients with B-Haemophillia are infected with modified Adeno-associated Virus 8 which contained the genes for Factor IX clotting protein. Trials seemed ...
7
votes
1answer
667 views

Why is an HIV infection considered “incurable”?

My biology teacher told me that if one caught HIV, they cannot be cured because it was near to impossible to be completely virus-free. She said this was because HIV keeps on changing its glycoprotein ...
3
votes
1answer
40 views

What is the purpose of requiring two separate binding systems for the antibody response?

I've read that in most cases, B-cell activation requires helper T-cells. This requires antigen binding by both antibodies and T-cell receptors, using two different antigen-binding proteins, ...
3
votes
1answer
97 views

How to inhibit formation of specific antibodies (to antisera)?

Is there a way to inhibit an antibody response to a specific antigen using immunosupression? I am interested in reducing the anti-antibody formation to animal antibodies such as murine antibodies in ...
7
votes
1answer
353 views

What will happen if a foetus is Rh- and the mother is Rh+?

If a mother has Rh-negative blood and her foetus has Rh-positive blood it will result in rhesus incompatibility and lead to erythroblastosis fetalis. What will happen if the reverse occurs, when a ...