Immunology for the Non-immunologist
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The focus of immunology, both historically and conceptually, is the defensive response of a vertebrate animal (i.e., humans or animal models) to microorganisms leading to clearance of the pathogen, maintenance of homeostasis, and enhanced protection in the future to the same or similar microorganisms. Prior to the second half of the twentieth century, infectious diseases, especially those encountered during childhood, were massive public health threats. Although vaccines and antibiotics have blunted the threat, infections remain major causes of morbidity and mortality, and the immune response to established infections, as well as new/emerging infections, remains the nexus of immunology. An example of the importance of infections in immunology is that in many medical schools, microbiology and immunology are within the same department.
KeywordsMajor Histocompatibility Complex Major Histocompatibility Complex Class Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection Innate Immune Response Adaptive Immune Response
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