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Active and Passive Immunity

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´╗┐Chelsea Howe Report One I am going to look at the two types of immunisation; passive and active. Immunisation is very important to each individual and the community; it helps fight serious diseases such as polio, measles and many more disorders. Active immunity is process in which the body makes antibodies that are made to destroy invading antigens; this can be done either artificially or naturally. An antigen is a substance that prompts the body to produce antibodies to fight a disease. Artificial Immunisation is when a substance is artificially passed into the body, usually by injection; this is known as a vaccine. The vaccine encourages the immune system to produce particular antibodies that will fight off the disease. Antibodies are the proteins that are produced by the body to neutralise the disease or even destroy the disease completely. The vaccines contain very minute amounts of the disease that have been weakened or killed so they cause minimal harm to the body, this is called attenuation. ...read more.


This means that the body is then able to make the antibody quickly to make sure that they are well prepared to fight the disease if they ever come into contact with it again. Each disease has its own antibody so the immune system has to create a new antibody for every new disease that it comes into contact with. Natural Immunisation is similar to artificial immunisation; the difference is that the person has naturally come into contact with the disease, not via a vaccine. When the body comes into contact with the disease it is swallowed by the phagocyte, a white blood cell, to destroy the disease. Part of the disease, the antigen, rises to the surface of the phagocyte which then presents the antigen to the T cell which then creates a specific antibody that fights the disease. The memory B and T cells are then created to fight the disease if the body ever comes into contact with it again. If a person were to come into contact with the disease a second time the body already knows which antibody is needed so the response is a lot quicker. ...read more.


This type of immunisation is necessary when a person has been exposed to or is in danger of becoming ill with a disease of a very serious nature and is seen in cases where a patient needs immediate protection from something and he or she cannot form antibodies quickly enough before the person contracts the disease. The person?s body plays no part in the producing of the antibodies as there is no time to wait for the body to produce them this is why this type of immunisation is only temporary as there is no memory cells produced. Natural Passive Immunity This type of immunity is when antibodies are passed from a mother and a child. This can happen in two circumstances; when the mother is carrying the child and when or if the mother is breastfeeding. When the antibodies are transferred during pregnancy they are passed through the placenta. When the antibodies are passed through breast feeding the antibodies are passed though the colostrum, which is present in breast milk. The antibodies that are transmitted either of these ways only generally last for several weeks, which give enough time for the baby to be able to make its own antibodies. ...read more.

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