I will write a very basic post to understand Immunology, however I barely am providing any info about this important topic.

Immunology is the study of the immune system. The immune system are like our own army of soldiers, it protects us from infection through various lines of defense. If the immune system is not functioning adequately, it can result in disease, such as autoimmunity, infections, allergy, cancer… Its origin is attributed to Edward Jenner who discovered in 1796 that cowpox, induced protection against human smallpox, an often fatal disease.  He called this: vaccination. Others also began studying diseases and immune system more. In the 1880s, Louis Pasteur devised a vaccine against cholera in chickens, and developed a rabies vaccine that proved a spectacular success upon its first trial in a boy bitten by a rabid dog.

We have 2 lines of defense:

Innate immunity: which is the first line of defense and is non-specific. That is, the responses are the same for all potential pathogens, no matter how different they may be. Innate immunity includes physical barriers (e.g. skin, saliva etc) and cells (e.g. macrophages, neutrophils, basophils, mast cells etc). These components ‘are ready to go’ and protect an organism for the first few days of infection.

Adaptive immunity: is the second line of defense which involves building up memory of encountered infections, so your body can be stronger in case of another “attack”. Adaptive immunity involves antibodies, which generally target foreign pathogens roaming free in the bloodstream. Also involved are T cells, which are directed especially towards pathogens that have colonised cells and can directly kill infected cells or help control the antibody response.

There is a great deal of synergy between the adaptive immune system and its innate counterpart, and defects in either system can lead to immunopathological disorders, including autoimmune diseases, immunodeficiencies and hypersensitivity reactions. 

Nowadays, as we are seeing with COVID-19, technology and increased travel ability have resulted in the increased mobility of diseases that would normally be isolated in one area. That is one of the many reasons why it is so important to understand our immune system and pathogens that can affect us. The immune system’s job is to help identify and eliminate dangerous germs that enter the body before they can cause disease or damage. Part of having a healthy immune system is having a healthy diet, been active, take care of your body (relax, chiropractic, massage, relieve stress…) etc Just having a vaccine don’t save you from getting sick, take control of your health.

Pic: Retha Ferguson.

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