Defence against infectious diseases

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  • Defence against infectious diseases
    • the skin and mucous membranes form a primary defence against pathogens that cause infectious diseases
    • cuts in the skin are sealed by blood clotting
    • clotting factors are released from platelets
      • cellular fragments that are used as a temporary plug
    • the cascade results in the rapid conversion of fibrinogen to fibrin by thrombin
      • fibrin creates a mesh in which more platelets are trapped
    • ingestion of pathogens by phagocytic WBC gives non specific immunity to diseases
      • engulfion of pathogens by endocytosis and digest them
    • production of antibodies by lymphocytes in response to particular pathogens gives specific immunity
      • antigen on the top of the membranes of pathogens
        • antibodies connect with the antigen - this makes the WBC to reproduce and form plasma cells
          • antibodies have two regions
            • hypervariable region - connection with antigen
            • another region
              • makes pathogen more recognizable by other WBC
              • prevent viruses to dock to host cells so that they cannot enter the cell
          • memory cells
    • antibiotics block processes that occur in prokaryotic cells but not in eukaryotic cells
      • bacterial DNA replication
      • transcription
      • translation
      • ribosome function
      • cell wall formation
    • viral diseases cannot be treated using antibiotics because they lack a metabolism
    • some strains of bacteria have evolved with genes which confer resistance to antibiotics and some strains of bacteria have multiple resistance


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