Fighting Disease

  • Created by: India.02
  • Created on: 08-05-19 17:54
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  • Fighting Disease
    • Attacking Pathogens
      • Most important part of immune system is white blood cells
      • 1. Consume them - white blood engulf foreign cells and digest them - phagocytosis
      • 2. Produce Antibodies
        • Pathogen has antigens on it's surface - white blood cells detect a foreign antigen and will start to produce proteins called antibodies
        • The antibodies lock onto invading cells so they can be found and destroyed by other white blood cells - they are then rapidly carried around the body to find similar bacteria or viruses
        • If infected, the white blood cells will rapidly reproduce the antibodies
      • 3. Producing Antitoxins
        • Toxins that counteract those produced by the invading bacteria
    • Vaccination
      • Injects small amounts of dead or inactive pathogens that carry their antigens - body will then produce antibodies to attack them
      • If pathogen of the same type reappears the white blood cells can rapidly mass-produce antibodies to kill the pathogen
      • Pros
        • Vaccines help control many communicable diseases
          • Big outbreaks of disease (epidemic) can be prevented if a large amount of the population is vaccinated - people who aren't vaccinated are less likely to catch it
            • If lots of people aren't vaccinated the disease can spread rapidly and many people will be ill at the same time
      • Cons
        • Vaccines don't always work - people aren't always immune
          • You can have a bad reaction to a vaccine - swelling, fever, seizures - bad reactions are rare
    • Drugs
      • Antibiotic Resistance
        • When you treat the bacteria only the non-resistant strains will survive - they will reproduce and the population of the resistant strain increases
          • Resistant strain could cause a serious infection that can't be treated by antibiotics
            • MRSA causes serious wound infections and is resistant to the powerful antibiotic meticillin
          • The avoid the increase in resistance - avoid over-prescribing and you must finish the whole course
      • Painkillers only relieve the pain but they don't kill the pathogen or cause of disease
        • Antibiotics kill the bacteria without harming your body cells - don't destroy viruses because they reproduce using your own body cells - difficult to develop drugs that kill virus and not the cells that hose it
      • Plants
        • Aspirin is a painkiller that lowers fever - willow
          • Digitalis treats heart conditions - developed from chemical found in foxgloves
            • Chemicals produced by plants to defend themselves against pests or pathogens
        • Digitalis treats heart conditions - developed from chemical found in foxgloves
          • Chemicals produced by plants to defend themselves against pests or pathogens
        • Alexander Fleming found that the mould on a Petri dish produced a substance that killed some bacteria - penicillin
          • Extracted from micro-organisms
        • Present day - drugs made on large scale in pharma-ceutical industry - process may still start with a chemical extracted from a plant

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