Doctor insights on:
How Does The Immune System Fight Smallpox
Agree w Dr. Raff: A study called “Duration of antiviral immunity after smallpox vaccination.” Hammarlund E. etal (Nat Med 2003) showed that >90 % of volunteers vaccinated 25 to 75 years prior still had significant humoral / cellular immunity. ** http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12925846** ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Why does the immune system fight & heal physical illnesses but most likely not or never mental illnesses?
Mental illness: This is a very good question and the answer has eluded the medical profession for a long time. Not all mental illness is based on a immune imbalance though and some is related to hormonal imbalances. The workings of the brain are still pretty mysterious. Stay tuned. ...Read more
Two stages: Natural Killer cells are the first immune step that seeks out the malaria to mark it for the body to "kill" it. A second step is the T cell that also seeks the genetic marker of the malaria to flag it for a "kill". Since malaria invades natural cells of the body it can begin to hide from the immune system and replicate. Consider vaccination if traveling in high risk areas with malaria. ...Read more
Heard to simplify.: Like a complicated orchestra plays a difficult score. Different germs produce different responses. There are is nonspecific and specific immune responses. Even the skin oils, saliva, stomach acid tears and sweat are important here. It is much to difficult to quickly answer which is why i taught a course taking 20 hours on the subject to medical students. ...Read more
Complicated: Natural killer cells can recognize tumor cells and virally infected cells and destroy those. T-cells and antibodies to markers on tumor cells may also destroy tumor cells. Unfortunately, most of the time, some cancer cells evade this destruction and continue the disease process. The hope and potential of immune therapy remains to be realized. ...Read more
If you don't get gastroenteritis for years does the immune system become less efficient at fighting it and thus causing severe symptoms when infected?
Consider this...: Lots of things can cause GI distress to recur--incompletely treated infection (e.g. Giardia) or re-exposure with re-infection; maldigestion (pancreatic insufficiency) or malabsorption (celiac sprue); food intolerances with re-exposure to the offending substance (lactose, sorbitol, etc.), irritable bowel syndrome, missed diagnosis (incomplete evaluation), non-gi related problems (uti, pid, etc.). ...Read more
Is it possible that if a person become in contact with HIV through sex and the virus is at a low level, can the immune system fight it off?
HIV: There is a rare subgroup of individuals who have an altered version of the viral attachment site for the cell. Generally this means that the infection progresses less rapidly, but prevention is conceivable. Transmission is never 100% and the lower the viral load the lower the risk of infection, but not because the immune system fights it off. ...Read more
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