2.3.2 Acquiring Immunity

OCR specifiaction based notes for AS Human Biology

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2.3.2 Acquiring Immunity
(a) Vaccines
A vaccine is a preparation which is used to improve immunity to a particular disease.
(b) UK Vaccination Programme
When to immunise Diseases to protect against Vaccine given
2 months Diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio, HIB, DTaP/IPV/Hib
pneumococcal infection PCV
3 months Diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, HIB, meningitis C DTaP/IPV/Hib
4 months Diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio, HIB, DTaP/IPV/Hib
meningitis C, pneumococcal infection +MenC
12 months HIB, meningitis C Hib/MenC
13 months Measles, mumps, rubella, pneumococcal infection MMR + PCV
3 years 4 months - 5 Diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio, measles, DTaP/IPV or
years mumps, rubella dTaP/IPV
13-18 tetanus, diphtheria, polio Td/IPV
(c) The Immune Response
The immune response is how your body recognises and defends itself against bacteria,
viruses, and substances that appear foreign and harmful to the body. An immune response
is stimulated in the body by particular antigens Antigens (means antibody generator) are
foreign substances (e.g. proteins, glycoproteins and polysaccharides) which stimulate an
immune response (e.g. the production of antibodies). Immunity is the protection against
disease provided by the immune system. The immune system can provide 2 types of
immune response;
1. The non-specific response
2. The specific response
A first-time encounter with an antigen elicits a non-specific response. This type of
immunity involves mechanisms that prevent entry of pathogens into the body and
mechanisms to destroy pathogens that enter into the body. The non-specific response will
be the same regardless of the type of antigen it encounters. The non-specific defence

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Skin Forms a continuous layer/barrier, preventing entry of microbes
Continued loss of skin carries microbes away from body surface
If skin becomes damaged, scar formation occurs, preventing entry of microbes
Tears Contain the enzyme lysozyme, which hydrolyses bacterial cell walls
Wash away microbes from surface of the eye
Acid environment of the stomach, urethra and vagina, destroys microbes
Saliva Contains the enzyme lysozyme, which hydrolyses bacterial cell walls
Mucus and cilia Mucus forms a sticky layer over air passages and urino-genital tract,
trapping microbes.…read more

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Specific Immune Response
Type of white Example Cell Maturatio Cell Function
blood cell Cell Origin n Site
Monocyte Bone Blood Phagocytosis & aiding in generating the
Phagocytes Marrow Stream specific immune responses by antigen
Macrophag Bone Organ Phagocytosis & aiding in generating the
e Marrow Tissue specific immune responses by antigen
Neutrophil Phagocytosis
B Bone Spleen Production of antibodies
B and T
Lymphocyt Marrow
T Bone Thymus Production of antibodies
Lymphocyt Marrow
(e) B and T Lymphocytes
B lymphocytes -…read more

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Artificial immunity ­ immunity can be induced by a vaccine that contains the antigens of a
given pathogen or by exposure to another persons` antibodies. Injections of a vaccine
containing antigens generally produce life-long immunity to the pathogen whereas
injection or exposure to another persons` antibodies provides short lived immunity.
(g) Memory Cells
This first response (primary response) is slow because it takes time for:
1. the specific B & T cells to encounter a particular antigen
2.…read more

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Blood Groups
(k) HIV Vaccine
The virus replicates so quickly and makes so many mistakes during the process that
vaccines can't possibly fend off all the types of HIV that exist. HIV also has developed
sophisticated mechanisms to dodge immune attack, shrouding its surface protein in sugars
to hide vulnerable sites from antibodies. HIV produces proteins that thwart production of
other immune cells. HIV can be transmitted as both free virus (susceptible to antibody
mediated immunity) and in infected cells.…read more


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