What is Immunology?
One of the most important branches of medical and biological sciences, Immunology is the study that deals with the Immune system. The immune system is the essential system of the body that provides defense against various illnesses, infections, and allergies. When the immune system gets compromised, it can result in result in conditions as severe as cancer. In addition to these conditions, it has also been found that many immune responses are responsible for many disorders that were earlier not considered to be immunologic. These included cardiovascular, neurodegenerative, and metabolic conditions like Alzheimer’s.
What is the Importance of Immunology?
Immunology has given medical science its important breakthroughs to get remarkable achievements in the field of healthcare. Starting from Edward Jenner’s exceptional work in the 18th Century which gave birth to vaccination in its current form to several breakthroughs in the field of science in the 19th and 20th century, Immunology has made modern medicine what it is today. In addition to some exceptional developments in the field of medicine, Immunology has also made some advanced treatments such as organ transplantation, identification of the blood groups, and the current use of monoclonal antibodies. The use of Immunology in the field of healthcare has not stopped at this. Researches are still undergoing at a very large scale to see how significant health problems can be treated with its use. Efforts are being put into research to see how immunotherapy and autoimmune diseases and vaccines can help in treating emerging pathogens like Ebola. Making advancements to understand the basics of Immunology is also important to have its clinical and commercial applications. These basics will also aid the discovery of new diagnostics and treatment plans for several diseases. When combined with some advanced technologies, researches in the field of Immunology has given essential techniques and tools like flow cytometry and antibody technology.
Who is an Immunologist?
A clinician or a scientist who has a specialization in immunology is called an Immunologist. There are several immunologists who perform their work in a laboratory. Their work is either focused on research either in the field of academics or a private industry such as the pharmaceutical industry. Clinical immunologists are the type of immunologists whose work is focused on the management and diagnosis of diseases that affect the immune system such as autoimmune diseases and allergies.
What is Immune Dysfunction?
The immune system of the human body is responsible for providing protection against diseases and when the system is disturbed, it can result in some serious conditions. There are several types of researches being conducted in this field to study diseases that are caused as a result of the dysfunction of the immune system. The research work has contributed significantly to the development of new treatments and therapies that successfully cure the conditions by altering the functioning of the immune system. When vaccines are administered for these conditions, they work by priming the immune system and giving a boost to the reaction of the immune system towards several pathogens.
When a body suffers from immunodeficiency disorders, it prevents the immune system from preparing a defense mechanism against diseases. This often results in associating immunodeficiency disorders with serious infections that stay for a long time and keep recurring and even lead to severe complications. The recurrence and severity of these diseases can even result in fatalities.
Immunodeficiency disorders can be classified into two types: primary immunodeficiencies and secondary immunodeficiencies. The primary immunodeficiencies can be found at the time of birth and are often genetic. Common variable immunodeficiency is an example of primary immunodeficiency. The secondary immunodeficiencies are often developed in the later stages of life and can often be a result of an infection. One example of secondary immunodeficiency is AIDS which often occurs after HIV infection.
What is Veterinary Immunology?
The branch of Immunology which deals with treating and improving the health of animals is known as veterinary Immunology. Just like humans, animals also get affected when organisms enter their bodies and when their immune system dysfunctions. Animals on the farms, in the wild, or raised in a domestic environment are more vulnerable since they are exposed to several dangerous bacteria, parasites, and viruses. When these organisms invade the body of animals, they often cause diseases that can affect the welfare of animals. In addition to these organisms, there are many infections found in animals that are naturally transmitted from humans to animals and vice-versa. This cross-species transmission is known as zoonosis. An example of this type of transmission is swine flu, avian influenza, malaria, and Lyme disease. These diseases are transmitted from animals and insects to humans. Therefore, it is extremely important that these infections and diseases are controlled in an effective way.