Doctor insights on:
How Does The Immune System Respond To Pathogens
What could the immune system produce that attaches itself to a pathogen and marks the pathogen for death?
Few dif. Things: Antibodies are proteins made by certain immune cells that seek out and bind to pathogens. Once bound, antibodies can activate other proteins in your blood called complement, which can poke holes in the bug and kill it. Sometimes, complement can bind to the bug on its own. If the bug survives that, both antibody and complement can act as handholds for immune cells to grab onto the bug and eat it. ...Read more
Can you tell me what can the immune system produce that attaches itself to a pathogen and marks the pathogen for death?
Antibodies: And sometimes angry t-cells. Complement molecules to punch holes. This is a big subject. ...Read more
Does HIV evading the immune system support the idea of an evolutionary race between pathogens and hosts?
Bronchitis: As with any infection, it may take a couple of weeks to fight a novel pathogen, or more quickly if it is from one that has attacked before. Bacterial bronchial infections should be treated with an antibiotic as it helps to hasten the resolution. If the infection is from a virus, it will usually resolve on its own. Asthma, smoking, or structural problems can complicate the problem. ...Read more
What are two specific ways in which the immune system will respond to a disease in order to restore homeostasis?
Live or let die: This would be highly unusual since there are reserve system in the body to fight against virus. If you have absolutely no immune response, then you will have to wait till the virus dies out or kills you in the interim. However this scenario would be a highly unlikely one. ...Read more
Respond or cured?: If you mean in the middle ear, that varies. Once there is any fever or pain there are local chemical factors released that are part of the immune response. Viral agents would likely be cleared within a week, while bacteria could be walled off & cleared in 8-12 weeks. However, sometimes these become chronic, can erode bone or form an abscess. ...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
Part of the whole: The immune system is one part of the miracle of a human body. For your body to work properly it requires healthy food. Try to develop the habit of eating plenty of vegetables and fruits, moderate amounts of lean meats, and plenty of water. Eat slowly and stop when you begin to feel full. Eat very limited amounts of sugar, caffeine, and alcohol. This type of diet will serve you well. ...Read more
Identical difficult: One of the functions of the immune system is recognize "self" from "non-self". Although as close a match between donor and recipient is attempted except for identical twins a "perfect" match is almost a mathematical impossibility. Therefore there are one to multiple immunologic differences that stimulate an immune response or regection. ...Read more
B/c it is foreign.: A newly transplanted organ is still from another body. The immune system recognizes this as foreign because it has slightly or greatly different hla/tissue types in its cells. These are matched as well as possible before transplant, but there are usually some differences as no two peopl;e are alike. Thus, it attacks it and will kill it unless immunosuppression is done by drugs, etc. ...Read more
Calling the cavalry: When we're sick, our bodies are waging a war against germs. Our immune system sends out an army (of white blood cells and special chemicals) to fight off those enemy germs. We can keep our inner army strong by eating right, moving at least 30 minutes every day, sleeping well and balancing work/play. ...Read more
Foreign antigens: A person's immune system will see a replaced organ as a foreign object unless the tissues are identical (from an identical twin or tissue grown from one's own cells). To prevent rejection of the organ, doctors often have to give medications to suppress this unwanted immune response. The closer the tissues mach, there is a lower probability of the unwanted immune response. ...Read more
Tissue markers: The tissue markers on the transplanted tissue are different from your native markers. ...Read more
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
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
Complicated: By fighting tumor causing viruses, e.G, ebv, hpv, good immune response may prevent the development of tumors. There is a general hypothesis that tumors have antigens not present on normal cells and that immune system may be able to eliminate incipient cancers. However the system is far from perfect as cancers occur all the time. ...Read more
Very complicated: Latest info suggests an inborn genetic susceptibility with environmental triggering events. The basic pathology causes the immune system to mistake brain and spinal cord myelin as a foreign entity. Data regarding grey matter involvement is starting to explain much of what is occurring. All current meds target lymphocyte trafficking, (t cells), but the b cell research is exciting. ...Read more
This is a very in-depth topic that could never be described with adequate detail in this little box. Please check out this website for specific information on the entire immune system.
http://www. Niaid. Nih. Gov/topics/immunesystem/pages/default. Aspx. ...Read more
Controls microbes: The specific and non-specific immune systems work together to maintain a balance with the microbial world. Bacteria and fungi that colonize the body's surfaces; the skin, the respiratory tract and the GI tract are met at those surfaces they do not invade. The micro biome (these colonizing microbes) play an important role in homeostasis. ...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
Possibly: As the other physicians have already mentioned, bacterial vaginosis occurs when "bad bacteria" outnumber the "good bacteria" that normally are present in the vagina. Certain cells and antibodies (mainly of the IgA class) help protect the vagina. However, douching, wiping from the anus to the vagina after bowel movements and multiple sex partners are all factors that increase BV. ...Read more
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