immunity

immunity and vaccination

In previous concepts, you learned about B and T cells, special types of white blood cells that help your body to fight off a specific pathogen. They are necessary when the body is fighting off an infection. But what happens to them after the pathogen has been destroyed? Most B and T cells die after an infection has been brought under control. But some of them survive for many years. They may even survive for a persons lifetime. These long-lasting B and T cells are called memory cells. They allow the immune system to remember the pathogen after the infection is over. If the pathogen invades the body again, the memory cells will start dividing in order to fight the pathogen or disease. These dividing cells will quickly produce a new army of B or T cells to fight the pathogen. They will begin a faster, stronger attack than the first time the pathogen invaded the body. As a result, the immune system will be able to destroy the pathogen before it can cause an infection. Being able to attack the pathogen in this way is called immunity. Immunity can also be caused by vaccination. Vaccination is the process of exposing a person to a pathogen on purpose in order to develop immunity. In vaccination, a modified pathogen is usually injected under the skin by a shot. Only part of the pathogen is injected, or a weak or dead pathogen is used. It sounds dangerous, but the shot prepares your body for fighting the pathogen without causing the actual illness. Vaccination triggers an immune response against the injected antigen. The body prepares "memory" cells for use at a later time, in case the antigen is ever encountered again. Essentially, a vaccine imitates an infection, triggering an immune response, without making a person sick. In many countries, children receive their first vaccination at birth with the Hepatitis B shot, which protects infants from Hepatitis B, a serious liver disease. Before vaccines, many children died from diseases that vaccines now prevent, such as whooping cough, measles, and polio. Those same germs exist today, but because babies are now protected by vaccines, we do not see these diseases nearly as often. Diseases you have probably been vaccinated against include measles, mumps, and chicken pox. How does a vaccine work? See How a Vaccine Works at and The History of Vaccines at . Click image to the left or use the URL below. URL:

instructional diagrams

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questions

some b and t cells can survive for over 50 years.

-->  a. true

b. false

in many countries, the first vaccination is given within a few days of birth.

-->  a. true

b. false

how do vaccinations work?

a) vaccination exposes a person to a pathogen on purpose.

-->  b) vaccination triggers an immune response, so memory cells can be made.

c) vaccination allows pathogens to circulate in your blood, to be killed when necessary.

d) vaccination is a non-specific defense to many specific pathogens.

why do vaccinations not make you sick?

-->  a) because a weak or dead pathogen is used.

b) because medicine is used so you dont get sick.

c) because the memory cells fight the pathogen.

d) all of the above

what is the first vaccination for many children?

a) whooping cough

b) mumps

c) measles

-->  d) hepatitis b

what happens to most b and t cells after an immune response?

a) they turn into memory cells.

b) they become regular white blood cells.

-->  c) they die.

d) they turn into a cells.

diseases that are preventable today through vaccinations include

a) polio

b) whooping cough

c) measles

-->  d) all of the above

diagram questions

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