Immunity AQA GCSE Biology

  • Created by: Caitlinyx
  • Created on: 24-04-13 19:26
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  • Immunity
    • Antigens
      • Each cell has unique proteins called antigens and your immune systems recognises other micro-organisms by their antigens
      • White blood cells can make specific antibodies which join up with the antigen and destroys the pathogen
      • White blood cells remember the antigens and the antibody needed, so if they see the same pathogen again, they can get rid of it quicker
      • The first time you meet a pathogen you get ill, this is because they is a delay while your body sorts out the right antibody needed
        • The next time you destory the pathogen before they have time to make you ill
    • Vaccination
      • Some pathogens make you seriously ill very quickly so you need to be immunised before they can harm you
      • Immunisation involves a vaccine
      • A vaccine is usually made up of a dead or weakened form of the pathogen
      • It works by triggering your immune system into making an antibody for the antigen, without getting you ill
      • Then if you meet the live pathogen, the white blood cells can make the antibodies before you get ill
      • A vaccine can be used for both bacterial and viral infections
      • MMR protects against measles, mumps and rubella
      • Vaccines have saved millions of lives
      • If a large proportion of the population was immune, the spread of a disease is reduced
        • Smallpox has been completely wiped out by vaccinations and doctors hope that this will soon happen with polio
    • Vaccine Debate
      • Very rarely a child may have a negative reaction to an immunisation
      • It is better for society if people get immunised because there is a smaller group of people who can get infected
      • 100 years ago 50% of all deaths of children and young people were due  to infectious diseases, but now because of the development of antibiotics and vaccines it has fallen to 0.5%
      • People often know the small risks of immunisation and therefore question getting it, not thinking about the dangers of the actual disease
      • The media highlight scare stories
      • Pharmaceutical companies want to sell their vaccines
      • Doctors and health advisors can weigh up the information, but they have vaccination targets set by the government


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