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Questions tagged [immunology]

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

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Purpose of Fc Region

Could someone explain to me the role played by the Fc region of an antibody as well as the purpose of isotype switching? According to Wikipedia, it's to allow the antibody to be usable by different Fc ...
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Why did T cells have evolved to recognise self cells along with foreign antigent to generate a response?

T cells have evolved to be strain specific. For a T cell to respond it has to identify not only the foreign antigen but the antigen must also be attached to a self cell. what is the significance of ...
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Why proximal muscle weakness is seen earlier than distal muscle weakness in Dermatomyositis?

It is said that in dermatomyositis(DM) , proximal muscle weakness is seen earlier than distal muscle weakness. It is also said that , DM is due to damage to small blood vessels contributing to muscle ...
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Why do some people have symptoms of salmonella and others not?

So I was reading from the Mayo Clinic website and they say that typically people with Salmonella have no symptoms, but why? Why do some people have symptoms and others not? Salmonella does after all ...
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When should antibody/antigen be pluralised? [migrated]

I am doing my thesis corrections, and my examiner (an engineer) has different ideas about whether the word should be pluralised than those I am used to, as I am a non-biochemist, I wanted advice on ...
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Immune System - B-cell receptors

How do the B-cells, which are a part of our body, develop antibodies against antigens of the outside world (outside of our body), which they don't even know about? Is it just a random match?
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Why do bulls-eye rashes look like they do?

People infected with Lyme Disease often present with an erythema migrans ("migrating redness") rash. Most often, these rashes are in the shape of a bulls-eye. Rash image. Presumably, this is a ...
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Why it is rare for person to get infected with two Pathogens?

Why is it rare for a person to have 2 (or more) infectious diseases (for example: Flu & Cold together at the same time)? Although it's rare, it happens when the immune system is weak (e.g when ...
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Why do NK cells not destroy bacteria, even though bacteria don't have MHC-I?

Part of the function of NK cells is to destroy cells that are unable to bind their KIR receptors. Or in other words, cells that don't express MHC class I. This is why they can kill MHC supressed ...
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Immune response to IgA positive bacteria

If certain bacteria can be coated with IgA in vitro, does that mean they are likely to elicit an IgA immune response? Edit I'm working on a project that involves IgA-Seq analysis. Bacteria are coated ...
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How do scientists genetically modify Interleukin for medical use, where do they source the gene and insert it?

I was wondering how scientists genetically modify Interleukin for medical use. Where do they source the gene from, what are the steps involved in genetically modifying Interleukin for medical use, how ...
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Could bone marrow transplants be used to prevent tissue rejection of trans-species organs?

So the immune system doesn't calibrate (for want of a better euphemism) to recognize it's own cells until fairly well along in fetal development & the major components of the immune system (...
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Antibodies combine with antigens in the presence or abscence of macrophages?

There was a mcq in book that antibodies combine with antigens when.... And the correct answer was if macrophages are absent. As far as I know macrophages release interleukin 1 which stimulates T ...
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How to find suitable qRTPCR reference gene for a inflammatory response experiment?

I have tried several housekeeping genes – Hprt, β-actin and GAPDH, to analyze the relative expression of a cytokine for measuring the inflammatory local response in mice ears. However, all ...
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Serological assays measuring antibody response

Given that an appropriate immune response to a bacteria may be thwarted in an individual, including not producing all of the antibodies which are known to occur in people who have been infected, or ...
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Is it possible to train allergic resistance by exposing yourself to allergens?

My hypothesis is that one can decrease the allergic reactions over time by continuously exposing yourself to slowly increasing doses of allergens. Is there any scientific evidence pointing this right ...
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Can MHC class I be used for presenting peptides of extracellular origin by non-professional APCs?

Wikipedia says that: "The antigens presented by MHC class II are derived from extracellular proteins (not cytosolic as in MHC class I)." So does this mean that MHC class I cannot be used for ...
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What is the meaning of expansion of T cells?

In immunology, what does it mean by the term 'expansion' of T cells ex-vivo and activate it (generally with reference to cancer immunotherapy)?
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Oral Administration of Immunizations

Small children and people in developing countries may take oral dosage forms of vaccines. Antigens passing through the GI tract will come into contact with Peyer's patches and be absorbed by microfold ...
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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 ...
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What is meant by 'fixing' of an antigen presenting cell?

Can someone please explain what does 'fixing' of an antigen presenting cell mean?
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Placebo Effect Reactions

Why do some people actually experience measureable effects when given a placebo(fake drugs) versus the actual drug? Is is the power of suggestion, belief, or something else?
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Can people with AIDS get tattoos?

When I do a Google search, most of the results are about whether or not people can get HIV / AIDS from getting a tattoo through dirt needles. I am, however, curious whether or not it is possible to ...
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What is the relation between weak adhesion & rolling in immune cell migration vs. strong adhesion and emigration in immune cell migration?

Assume we're talking about lymphocyte migration. I think rolling is referring to part of the process of infection by chemotaxis but beyond that...
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Why do we have such a wide range of responses to pathogens and carcinogens?

I was reading an article recently debunking the idea of 'boosting' your immune system. It occurred to me that - presuming it's right - our immune systems are all pretty much the same (with the ...
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Why don't allergies cause fever?

Allergy To my understanding, an allergy is a hypersensitivity of the immune system causing a substance in the environment to be identified as pathogenic by the immune system while it is not ...
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How does the immune system recognize harmful proteins?

How does the human immune system detect whether a protein happens to be a protein found in the body that is supposed to be there, a bacterial toxin that should be inactivated, an already inactivated ...
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What properties of the pathogens of infectious diseases make recovered individuals susceptible to the disease?

I was wondering what properties of the pathogens of infectious diseases make these diseases more prone to making recovered individuals immediately susceptible to the disease? I was thinking that with ...
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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 ...
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What are the effects of removing CD4 receptors?

If the gene for the CD4 receptor was removed, would the person's immune system work normally? Could a new artificial receptor be substituted in place of CD4? Could HIV infection be prevented in this ...
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Where are Opsonins produced?

I read that opsonins are a type of antibody that play a vital role in chemotaxis and phagocytosis in general. The fact of them being antibodies though, got me confused. Antibodies are, to my knowledge ...
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Are microbial antigens selected against?

Antigens provoke a response from the host immune system. Could selective pressures result in microbes losing their antigens? Has this been observed? Or are antigens typically so important that they ...
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How are primary monoclonal antibodies for screening mutant cells made, physically?

I'm working with a fairly common protein expressed in a large numbers of organisms, let's say a keratin-associated beta-protein. I'm trying to develop a process which requires primary-secondary ...
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Is autoimmune disease associated with self-reactive B cells?

I'm a bit of an amateur, so excuse what may be a very naive question, but I somewhat understand how B cells that are self-reactive (bind to endogenous epitopes) are selected out during development. I ...
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Which cells are prefered by the HIV virus to establish an infection?

We always read that HIV infects CD4 cells, macrophages, and dendritic cells. However, is it a common event for HIV to infect non-immune cells within a host? If not, why? And also if not, why are ...
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Septic Shock: I'll kill myself before you kill me

Most of the deaths caused by extracellular bacteria don't actually result directly form their action. Rather, it results from an overreaction of the immune system to antigens such as LPS and LTA (...
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If a bacterium had a protein on its surface that humans also have, would it cause an autoimmune disease?

Suppose that a bacterium happened to have a protein on its surface. This protein can also be found in the human body. If this bacterium were to then infect a human with an otherwise normal immune ...
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Does eosinophil-derived neurotoxin attack the helminth nervous system?

I had always assumed that EDN's purpose was to attack the nervous systems of helminths and similar multicellular parasitic organisms, given the function of eosinophils. The enzyme was named due to its ...
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Why can blood group O be given to all blood groups?

The blood of persons of blood group O contains antibodies against antigens A and B. The red blood cells of persons of blood group A have A antigen on their surface. If someone with blood group A ...
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Question on compatibility of blood groups [duplicate]

How come a person with blood group O can donate to a person with blood group AB? Since there are A and B antibodies in the O blood group blood surely this would cause agglutination in the blood of the ...
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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?
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Do memory B cells communicate?

How do memory cells(B-cells) encounter pathogens? This question talks about how most of the memory B cells reside in the spleen and that upon a reinfection, produce antibodies which then circulate ...
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Do antibiotics attenuate immune response on subsequent exposure to same bacteria?

A healthy immune response to a bacterial infection includes "memory" to permit the body to thwart subsequent exposure to same bacteria. What are the dynamics of using antibiotics on initial exposure ...
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Why doesn't our immune system react to infused antibodies produced in a horse?

Calmette tried injecting horses with snake venom and then taking out the serum which has produced antibodies against the venom and injecting in the snake-bitten human. Shouldn't our immune system ...
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Will new proteins incorporating new amino acids trigger an immune response?

This article reported that scientists have succeeded in adding two new bases to the quartet of A, C, G and T, resulting in non-canonical amino acid. Additionally, the bacteria in which this was done ...
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B -Cell activation by helper T cell

When Dendritic cell travels to nearby lymph node with antigen presented on MHC II molecule, the helper T-cell residing there gets activated. But what happens to B- cell residing there? Does it get ...
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Infant immunization

I know that polio vaccine consists of small dose of polio virus itself, which activates body's immunity against the disease. An infant is given a no of vaccines including chickenpox, tetanus, ...
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Fever vs Inflammation

What's the difference between inflammation and fever? And why is fever called an inflammatory response? Does the word inflammation have both a general and a specific meaning?
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Why are haploid cancer cells not killed by immune system?

I have seen haploid cancer cells (I think it was leukemia cells) in a lab. Sperms and eggs are haploid but are not destroyed by the body because they are protected by other cells surrounding them. ...