help with immunology question?

Why wouldn’t you use serum from someone with immunity to a bacterial infection to protect another from the same type of infection?

2 Answers

  • Eric K
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Serum is only used for passive immunity.

    Since all bacterial infections are cleared when the body is challenged by an unknown organism the body has the ability to recognize and remember specific pathogens and to mount stronger attacks each time that same pathogen is encountered. This adaptive immunity is highly adaptable because of somatic hypermutation and VDJ recombination. This allows for a small number of genes to generate a vast number of antigen receptors, which are then expressed on individual lymphocytes.

    So bacterial infections are cleared by lymphocyte such as B cells and T cells.

    Cells are not present in serum, so that is why one will not be protected by another's serum.

    Although polyclonal antibodies circulate in the serum, you need the B cells that have the antibody receptor in order to bind the antibody that has conjugated to a bacteria. Without these cells and just using another's serum, you will just have bacteria that is bound to antibody with no way of clearing it.

  • 1 decade ago

    yeah that can be done ...and this is known as immunoprophylaxis .

    In this an individual is immunized by administering vaccine or hyper immune sera.

    vaccine provides active immunity while sera that contains specific immunoglobulins (antibodies) provides passive immunity that is fast but last for short period .

    ex. in case of severe dog bite hyper immune sera is administered immediately prior to post bite vaccination. this sera is obtained from immunized horses and contain antibodies against rabies virus.

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