Immunity - a system of protecting the body from externaleffects. The term itself came from the Latin word, translated as "liberation" or "deliverance from something." Hippocrates called him "self-healing power of the organism," and Paracelsus called "healing energy." First of all, it is necessary to understand the terms associated with the main defenders of our body.
Natural and acquired immunity
Even in ancient times, doctors were knownhuman immunity to animal diseases. For example, a plague in dogs or chicken cholera. This is called innate immunity. It is given to a person from birth and does not disappear throughout life.
The second type of immunity appears in humansonly after he has transferred the disease. For example, typhus and scarlet fever are the first infections to which doctors have discovered resistance. During the disease, the body creates antibodies that protect it from certain microbes and viruses.
The immense importance of immunity is that after the recovery the body is ready to face repeated infection. This is facilitated by:
- preservation of the antibody model for life;
- recognition of the body's "familiar" disease and rapid organization of defense.
There is a softer way to purchaseImmunity is an inoculation. There is no need to fully experience the disease. It is enough to introduce a weakened disease into the blood to "teach" the body to fight it. If you want to know what gave the discovery of immunity to mankind, you should first know the chronology of discoveries.
A bit of history
The first inoculation was made in 1796. Edward Jener was convinced that the artificial infection of smallpox from the blood of a cow is the best option for acquiring immunity. And in India and China, humans were infected with smallpox long before they started doing it in Europe.
In the 90s of the XIX century, Emil von Beringpublished the data of his work. They reported that to acquire immunity it is enough to infect the animal with not whole diphtheria bacteria, but only with some toxins isolated from them.
Serum as last chance
If a person is sick and can not cope withailment alone, he is injected with serum. It contains already prepared antibodies, which the patient's body for some reason can not work out independently.
These are extreme measures, they are only necessary in theIf the patient's life is in danger. Antibodies for serum are extracted from the blood of animals, which already have immunity to this disease. They get it after vaccination.
The most important thing that has given mankind the discovery of immunity is an understanding of the work of the organism as a whole. Scientists have finally understood how antibodies appear and what they are needed for.
Antibodies - fighters with dangerous toxins
Antitoxin began to be called a substance,neutralizing the waste products of bacteria. It appeared in the blood only in the case of these dangerous compounds. Then all such substances began to be called a general term - "antibodies".
Nobel Prize in Chemistry Arne Tizeliushas experimentally proved that antibodies are ordinary proteins only having a large molecular weight. And two other scientists - Edelman and Porter - deciphered the structure of several of them. It turned out that the antibody consists of four proteins: two heavy and two light. The molecule itself is shaped like a slingshot.
The Importance of Discovering Immunity
The very discovery of immunity and all the theories put forwardon its action allowed scientists and physicians to better understand the structure of our body, the mechanisms of its reactions to viruses and pathogenic bacteria. This helped to defeat such a terrible disease as smallpox. And then vaccines against tetanus, measles, tuberculosis, whooping cough and many others were found.
All these achievements in medicine have allowed to significantly increase the average life expectancy of a person and improve the quality of medical care.
In order to better understand what gaveto mankind the discovery of immunity, enough to read about life in the Middle Ages, when there were no vaccinations and serums. Look how dramatically the medicine has changed, and how much better and safer it has become to live!
But there are still many discoveries and achievements inthe study of the human body. And each person is able to contribute to the future of mankind. It is enough to have some elementary ideas about the most important issues of biology and to know how the history of the discovery of immunity developed in order to share this with your children and friends. Perhaps, you can awaken in the new generation an interest in science!</ p>