Doctors, I need your help regarding the idea of "SUBCLINICAL IMMUNITY"?

Is it possible to develop "subclinical immunity" to Pulmonary Tuberculosis?

I've heard of "subclinical infection" (asymptomatic infection), but NOT subclinical immunity.

I do remember one of the doctors mentioned that healthcare workers who are frequently exposed to TB patients can develop "subclinical immunity" to that disease. It was like he was saying that "low doses" of inhaled TB Bacilli creates an immune response, producing antibodies that increase that person's resistance to Pulmonary TB. Is it really possible? Or BCG vaccination is the only efficient way to develop immunity to TB? I've been looking for his explanation in books, but I didn't find any.

Your help will be highly appreciated.

1 Answer

  • 1 decade ago
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    I don't have an answer for this, but i have wondered about the precise meaning of "subclinical immunity." I have been unable to find a paper in which the author defined what they meant by this phrase. The context in which the phrase has been used indicates some level of immunity gained from a asymptomatic infection or casual exposure. From what i can infer, it seems that in a person with subclinical exposure to a pathogen, if the person later becomes infected they develop symptoms of the infection, but the immune response is stronger and quicker than a person with no previous exposure. I do not know if this is correct.

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