38 votes
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Why don't we develop immunity against common cold?

Long lasting immunity is obtained by means of the adaptive immune system, and mainly involves the development of antibodies that identify specific parts (epitopes) of the pathogen's proteins. Common ...
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  • 1,710
27 votes

Why don't we develop immunity against common cold?

First, I want to note that ddiez has a good answer, but I thought this was good question to have a more expanded answer on immunology and pathogenesis. The First thing we need to establish what is a &...
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  • 4,089
23 votes
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Can you be immune to a coronavirus?

It is hypothesized that exposure to and recovery from SARS-CoV-2 (as with other coronaviruses in humans) would generally result in short-term immunity to this strain, but we do not yet have data on ...
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  • 1,552
11 votes
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Why are people unable to develop lasting immunity against Norovirus?

So the direct mechanisms of norovirus immunity aren't well understood - the shortage of straightforward animal models, and the extreme difficulty in culturing the virus make mechanistic studies really ...
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  • 3,029
8 votes

Why it is important to vaccinate a human newborn within 24 hours since birth?

In the US, infants are vaccinated against Hep B at birth and again a month or two later as well, because of the risk of maternal transmission. If the mother is known to be HepB positive, HBIG will ...
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8 votes

What is the mechanism by which passive immunity works?

I commented on this question, but the OP's response prompted me to think again. Here is the graph from the document that the OP linked to: Clearly what is confusing is that the parameter referred to ...
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7 votes
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Why it is important to vaccinate a human newborn within 24 hours since birth?

Since another posted answer addresses HepB vaccination at least as effectively as I would have, I'll say something about first-day scheduling for BCG, which is consistent with WHO guidelines (emphasis ...
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  • 4,553
7 votes

What is the mechanism by which passive immunity works?

As Alan Boyd says, the relatively slow rise is due to gradual uptake of the injected antibody. If you deliver the antibodies by intravenous injection or another mode that allows rapid uptake (I use ...
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7 votes

what if there is a door for which our immune system has no key?

The Native Americans and smallpox First I want to note that some of the posted answers are not quite accurate. For example, smallpox ravaged the Native American population because they did not have ...
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7 votes

Can you be immune to a coronavirus?

No, you cannot be immune to the virus, if you haven't been in contact with it before. You are also not immune to the influenza viruses (flu), you just happened to not contract any of them. Simply ...
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  • 1,032
6 votes

Where and how is information about pathogen immunity stored in a cell?

All the body does is produce a ton of cells that can recognize single antigens. Each time you encounter pathogens, some of these naïve cells contact antigen that can activate them. The activated clone ...
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  • 8,031
6 votes
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Can you vaccinate against bacterial diseases? Are there existing vaccines for such diseases?

Of course we can - and do - vaccinate against bacterial diseases, as these are some of the dangerous infectious diseases. Among these are: Tetanus (although here the vaccination is targeted against ...
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5 votes
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What is self-immunoreactivity?

The basic concept of the immune system is that it has to discriminate between self and foreign and that is only allowed to launch an immune reaction against something foreign. This is called immune ...
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5 votes

Role of Bone marrow in T- lymphocyte development?

T cells arise in the bone marrow, as that's where the common lymphoid progenitor cells are (they also give rise to B cells). However, their development and maturation - TCR gene rearrangement, ...
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4 votes

How can insects survive without an adaptive immune system?

As mentioned by InactionPotential, organisms and their parasites are caught in an arms race. When an organism develops a new defense, the parasites with traits that allow them to survive those ...
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  • 1,752
4 votes

How can insects survive without an adaptive immune system?

There is not really a definitive explanation for why, although it's important to note that many mammalian pathogens are not adapted to insects and vice-versa. Insects need to survive insect pathogens, ...
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4 votes
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Is nuclear DNA immuno-privileged?

Pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) can potentially discriminate between endogenous and exogenous DNA: Microbial nucleic acids can be discriminated from self nucleic acids using various parameters,...
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4 votes
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What animal has the strongest immune system?

Though not strictly pathogenic in nature, Opossums (Didelphis virginiana) are well known to be able to recover from broad range of deadly toxins/venoms due to -- at least in part -- lethal toxin-...
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4 votes

What is the significance of an adjuvant to traffic vaccine antigen directly to draining lymph nodes without diffusing into the systemic circulation?

This paper, Controlling timing and location in vaccines, explains the concept in detail. The TL:DR version is that immune response is affected by the amount of antigen that reaches lymphatic tissue, ...
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3 votes
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Is mate choice in non-human primates MHC-dependent?

tl;dr It's messy for non-human primates too. Winternitz et al. (2017) ("Patterns of MHC‐dependent mate selection in humans and nonhuman primates: a meta‐analysis", Molecular Ecology 26(2)) review ...
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  • 4,553
3 votes

What is the mechanism by which passive immunity works?

The antibody levels go up, because you're adding more antibodies. The increase in antibodies isn't from the patient, it's from the injection of antiserum. The half life of IgG (the most common ...
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3 votes
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Terminology regarding cross-immunoreactivity

Everything you state is correct, except that I disagree with your statement that a "[...] virus variant itself is a protein, which is composed of peptides. A virus ...
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3 votes
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Organ and Bone Marrow Transplantation?

As Mowgli pointed out, a bone marrow transplant involves destroying the patient's own immune system with radiation and, essentially, replacing it with a new one from the bone marrow donor. If you did ...
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  • 335
3 votes

When someone gets infected with influenza, and gains some immunity, is that immunity just as good as getting it from a vaccine?

Yes, infection-acquired immunity is (generally speaking†) just as good as, if not better than, getting vaccinated. Remember, the whole point of a vaccine is to simulate an infection and stimulate ...
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3 votes

When someone gets infected with influenza, and gains some immunity, is that immunity just as good as getting it from a vaccine?

Natural infections almost always yield a better immunity than that acquired through vaccination. However, vaccines yield a better immune-response than getting infected with influenza. That is so to ...
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3 votes
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Help with understanding XKCD's “How Vaccine Failure due to Viral Vector Immunity Works” Why is this response a failure exactly?

Yes, the cartoon is a description of immune action. Traditionally shown is first exposure being a vaccine, and the second exposure being the bad virus being destroyed. However, this cartoon is ...
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2 votes

does phagocytosis dependent on opsonization?

Well, phagocytosis does not depend on opsonization, but it works better with it because the macrophages can detect the intruders more easily, but the secondary inmune response with IgG depends on the ...
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2 votes

Why are human immune systems comparatively weaker than other animal immune systems?

The question probably has a mistaken premise. Human immune systems are pretty similar to other species, at least in major structural elements. Our differences in adaptive niche have led to ...
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  • 492
2 votes

Bird diversity and the avian flu

Biodiversity is the opposite of monoculture, and we know that one possible consequence of monoculture is disease transmission -- bananas being the modern poster child for monoculture leading to ...
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2 votes

Organ and Bone Marrow Transplantation?

Bone marrow transplant requires to first destroy the pre-existing immune system with chemotherapy and/or radiations. So essentially you would not have the first immune system and my guess is that yes, ...
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