Navigation Links
Artificial induction of immunity


Immunity against infections that can cause serious illness is generally beneficial. Since Pasteur provided support for a germ theory of infectious disease, we have increasingly induced immunity against a widening range of diseases to prevent the associated risks from the wild infections. It is hoped that further understanding of the molecular basis of immunity will translate to improved clinical practice in the future.

This article places the development of techniques in historical and logical sequence and points to detailed articles on each of the main topics.

Contents


Variolation and smallpox

See main articles variolation and smallpox.

Typical site of inoculation in Europe and the British colonies

The earliest recorded artificial induction of immunity in humans was by variolation or inoculation, which is the controlled infection of a less lethal natural form of smallpox (known as Variola Minor) into a subject to make him or her immune to re-infection with the more lethal natural form, Variola Major. This was practiced in ancient times in China and India, and imported into Europe, via Turkey, around 1720 by Lady Montagu and perhaps others. From England, the technique spread rapidly to the Colonies, and was also spread by African slaves arriving into Boston.[1] [2]

Variolation had the disadvantage that the inoculating agent used, Variola Minor, was still an active form of smallpox and, although less potent, could still kill the inoculee or spread in its full form to others nearby. However, as the risk of death from inoculation with Variola Minor was just 1% to 2%, as compared to the 20% risk of death from the natural form of smallpox, the risks of inoculation were generally considered acceptable.

Vaccination

See main articles vaccination and Edward Jenner.

In 1796, Edward Jenner, a doctor and scientist who had practiced variolation, performed an experiment based on the folk-knowledge that infection with cowpox, a disease with minor symptoms which was never fatal, also conferred immunity to smallpox. [3] Jenner induced cowpox infection by transferring material from a lesion on one patient to another, thus infecting the second patient with cowpox. He then demonstrated that the latter was immune by exposing him to smallpox. The principle had been demonstrated some years earlier by Benjamin Jesty, who had not publicized his discovery. Jenner described and generalised the process and then arranged to propagate cowpox for therapeutic use and he is credited with the discovery.[4] Vaccination took over from variolation.

Jenner, like all members of the Royal Society in those days, was an empiricist. The theory to support further advances in vaccination came later.

Germ theory

See main articles Pasteur and germ theory.

Pasteur perfected experiments which disproved the then-popular theory of spontaneous generation and from which he derived the modern germ theory of (infectious) disease. Using experiments based on this theory, which posited that specific microorganisms cause specific diseases, Pasteur isolated the infectious agent from anthrax. He then derived a vaccine by altering the infectious agent so as to make it harmless and then introducing this inactivated form of the infectious agents into farm animals, which then proved to be immune to the disease.

Pasteur also isolated a crude preparation of the infectious agent for rabies. In a brave piece of rapid medicine development, he probably saved the life of a person who had been bitten by a clearly rabid dog by performing the same inactivating process upon his rabies preparation and then inoculating the patient with it. The patient, who was expected to die, lived, and thus was the first person successfully vaccinated against rabies.

Anthrax is now known to be caused by a bacterium, and rabies is known to be caused by a virus. The microscopes of the time could reasonably be expected to show bacteria, but imaging of viruses had to wait until the development of electron microscopes with their greater resolving power in the 20th century.

Toxoids

Some diseases, such as tetanus, cause disease not by bacterial growth but by bacterial production of a toxin. Tetanus toxin is so lethal that humans cannot develop immunity to a natural infection, as the amount of toxin required to kill a person is much less than is required by the immune system to recognize the toxin and produce antibodies against it. However, heating the tetanus toxin enough to denature it causes it to lose its ability to produce disease, but still leaves it able to induce immunity to tetanus when injected into subjects. The heated, denatured toxin is called a toxoid.

See also Botulism

Adjuvants

The use of simple molecules such as toxoids for immunization tends to produce a low response by the immune system, and thus poor immune memory. However, adding certain substances to the mixture, for example adsorbing tetanus toxoid onto alum, greatly enhances the immune response. These substances are known as adjuvants. Several different adjuvants have been used in vaccine preparation. Adjuvants are also used in other ways in researching the immune system.

A more contemporary approach for "boosting" the immune response of simpler immunogenic molecules (known as antigens) is to conjugate the antigens. Conjugation is the attachment to the antigen of another substance which also generates an immune response, thus amplifying the overall response and causing a more robust immune memory to the antigen. For example, a toxoid might be attached to a polysaccharide from the capsule of the bacteria responsible for most lobar pneumonia.

Temporarily-induced immunity

See also immunoglobulin.

Image:Http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f2/Platypus.jpg
Platypus: monotremes lack placental transfer of immunity

Temporary immunity to a specific infection can be induced in a subject by providing the subject with externally produced immune molecules, known as antibodies or immunoglobulins. This was first performed (and is still sometimes performed) by taking blood from a subject who is already immune, isolating the fraction of the blood which contains antibodies (known as the serum), and injecting this serum into the person for whom immunity is desired. This is known as passive immunity, and the serum that is isolated from one subject and injected into another is sometimes called antiserum. Antiserum from other mammals, notably horses, has been used in humans with generally good and often life-saving results, but there is some risk of anaphylactic shock and even death from this procedure because the human body sometimes recognizes antibodies from other animals as foreign.

Passive immunity is temporary, because the antibodies which are transferred have a lifespan of only about 3-6 months. Every placental mammal (including humans) has experienced temporarily-induced immunity by transfer of homologous antibodies from its mother across the placenta, giving it passive immunity to whatever its mother was immune to. This allows some protection for the young while its own immune system is developing.

Synthetic (recombinant or cell-clone) human immunoglobulins can now be made, and for several reasons (including the risk of prion contamination of biological materials) are likely to be used more and more often. However, they are expensive to produce and are not in large-scale production as of 2006. In the future it might be possible to artificially design antibodies to fit specific antigens, then produce them in large quantities to induce temporary immunity in people in advance of exposure to a specific pathogen, such as a bacterium, a virus, or a prion. At present, the science to understand this process is available but not the technology to perform it.

References

Further references given in the main articles indicated above.

  1. ^ National Institutes of Health "Smallpox - A Great and Terrible Scourge" Variolation
  2. ^ Andrew Dickson White "A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology - Chapter 10: Theological Opposition to Inoculation, Vaccination and the use of Anaesthetics" New York D. Appleton and Company 1898 Full text
  3. ^ Harris F "Edward Jenner and Vaccination" World Wide School Full text
  4. ^ François Marie Arouet de Voltaire (1694–1778). Lettres Philosophiques "Letter XI—On Inoculation" The Harvard Classics. 1909–14. English translation
  • Essential Immunology. Roitt, I Blackwell Scientific Publications 3rt edition, subsequent revisions. ISBN 0-632-00276-X
  • Pier GB, Lyczak JB, and Wetzler LM. (2004). Immunology, Infection, and Immunity. ASM Press. ISBN 1-55581-246-5
  • Therapeutic antibodies Ganfyd on-line collaborative medical textbook.

'"/>


(Date:4/18/2014)... online in The Gerontologist reports ... associated with a decrease in anxiety about death and ... over their lives. In particular, listening to gospel music ... and an increase in sense of control. , These ... men, and individuals of both low- and high-socioeconomic status. ...
(Date:4/18/2014)... What,s one of your worst memories? How did it ... felt during a negative personal experience, such as how ... lead to emotional distress, especially when you can,t stop ... creep up, thinking about the context of the memories, ... and effective way to alleviate the negative effects of ...
(Date:4/18/2014)... (April 18, 2014) ― A new study in the ... patterns in health-related Google searches reveals a recurring pattern ... , Investigators from San Diego State University, ... Monday Campaigns, analyzed "healthy" Google searches (searches that included ... diet") originating in the U.S. from 2005 to 2012. ...
(Date:4/17/2014)... inflammation in benign prostate tissue was associated with ... was found even in those with low prostate-specific ... in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention , ... Research. , An analysis of prostate tissue biopsies ... of the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial (PCPT) found ...
(Date:4/17/2014)... relief targets that could be used to provide ... College London made the discovery when researching how ... the body. , Dr Marzia Malcangio said: "We ... generation and our findings could help chemotherapy patients ... potential side effect of some chemotherapy drugs (such ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):Health News:Religious music brings benefit to seniors' mental health 2Health News:New study suggests a better way to deal with bad memories 2Health News:New study suggests a better way to deal with bad memories 3Health News:New research shows people are thinking about their health early in the week 2Health News:Chronic inflammation may be linked to aggressive prostate cancer 2Health News:Chronic inflammation may be linked to aggressive prostate cancer 3Health News:New pain relief targets discovered 2
... 11 General Nutrition Centers, Inc.,("GNC" the "Company" ... supplements, today reported its financial results for the ... is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of GNC ... Management LLC ("Ares") and,Ontario Teachers, Pension Plan Board ...
... Cards Before Holidays, WASHINGTON, Nov. 11 The American ... holiday cards to service men,and women in the United States ... 10, the public is invited to send holiday,cards with their ... box.,The Red Cross and Pitney Bowes will then screen cards ...
... 11 Nordic Naturals announces,their new Spa Collection, ... formulas: Omega Radiance(TM) and Omega Therapi(TM). Based on,Norwegian ... the hair and skin with omega-3 and omega-6 ... optimal results. Omega-3s and omega-6s,are considered essential because ...
... One of the most prestigious awards in nursing, The Magnet Prize, was ... the National Magnet Conference recently in Salt Lake City, UT. This ... ... (Vocus) November 11, 2008 -- One of the most prestigious awards in ...
... Utero Injuries, is now available free from Clifford Law Offices web site ... on their website in an effort to educate the public about legal ... , ... Chicago, IL (PRWEB) November 11, 2008 -- A new article, ...
... 2008 Frost &,Sullivan European Health Ingredient of the ... of its pioneering efforts in developing the novel,ingredient ... than cure, current medical treatments for osteoarthritis only,address ... Frost & Sullivan,Research Analyst Kaushik Ghosh. "FORTIGEL(R) represents ...
Cached Medicine News:Health News:General Nutrition Centers, Inc. Reports Third Quarter 2008 Financial Results 2Health News:General Nutrition Centers, Inc. Reports Third Quarter 2008 Financial Results 3Health News:General Nutrition Centers, Inc. Reports Third Quarter 2008 Financial Results 4Health News:General Nutrition Centers, Inc. Reports Third Quarter 2008 Financial Results 5Health News:General Nutrition Centers, Inc. Reports Third Quarter 2008 Financial Results 6Health News:General Nutrition Centers, Inc. Reports Third Quarter 2008 Financial Results 7Health News:General Nutrition Centers, Inc. Reports Third Quarter 2008 Financial Results 8Health News:General Nutrition Centers, Inc. Reports Third Quarter 2008 Financial Results 9Health News:General Nutrition Centers, Inc. Reports Third Quarter 2008 Financial Results 10Health News:'Holiday Mail for Heroes' to Deliver One Million Cards to Service Members and Families 2Health News:'Holiday Mail for Heroes' to Deliver One Million Cards to Service Members and Families 3Health News:Nordic Naturals Offers Radiant Beauty From the Inside Out With New Spa Collection of Essential Fatty Acid Supplements 2Health News:Abington Memorial One of Just Six Hospitals in the U.S. to Win Magnet Prize 2Health News:Abington Memorial One of Just Six Hospitals in the U.S. to Win Magnet Prize 3Health News:Free Article Now Available: 'Rights Expanding for Plaintiffs with In Utero Injuries' 2Health News:Frost & Sullivan Honours GELITA for Developing European Health Ingredient of the Year 2Health News:Frost & Sullivan Honours GELITA for Developing European Health Ingredient of the Year 3
Other medicine definitionOther Tags