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Passive and Active Immunity - Essay Example

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The author focuses on the immunity, the body’s ability to keep away from infections. This can be either artificial or naturally developed, or active or passive. Vaccination is provided active artificial immunity against the disease sought for immunity …
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Passive and Active Immunity
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Download file to see previous pages The process of acquisition of passive immunity can be either natural or artificial. Natural immunity occurs when there is a transfer of immunity to the fetus from the mother through placental transfer of IgG or colostral transfer of IgA. When immunity is acquired by artificial transfer of immunoglobins, it is known as artificial passive immunity. This occurs when a non-immune person is injected with gamma globulins from other human or animal. Artificial passive immunity is induced as a form of treatment for many conditions like infections and poisoning. Those with hypogammaglobulinemia also are treated similarly. The infections which can be handled with passive immunization are diphtheria, tetanus, measles, and rabies (Ghaffar, 2002).
Immunity produced as result of exposure of the body to antigens is known as active immunity. The active immunity can be natural or acquired. Natural immunity occurs when a person develops immunity following natural exposure to pathogens in the form of clinical or subclinical infection. When the person develops immunity following artificial administration of the antigen in the form of the live pathogen, dead pathogen or a component of a pathogen, it is known as artificial active immunization. All vaccines produce artificial active immunization (Ghaffar, 2002).
The vaccines used to produce active immunity can be thus classified into live vaccines, killed vaccines, and sub-unit vaccines. Live organisms are mainly used for immunization against viral infections. Live vaccines are now available for vaccination against measles, mumps, rubella and chicken pox. Example for a live vaccine against bacteria is BCG vaccine (Bacillus Calmet Geurin).  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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