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Vaccines--How and Why?
Acellular vaccine- a vaccine made from a part or parts of an infectious agent.
An acellular vaccine does not contain whole cells.
Adjuvant- a substance which is mixed with an antigen to enhance the resulting
immune response. An adjuvant is not antigenic by itself.
Active immunization- the administration of a vaccine or toxoid which causes an
immunologic response involving production of specific antibody or antitoxin.
Antibody- a protein, produced by plasma cells, which binds specifically to an
antigen. Antibodies play a major role in the immune response.
Antigen- a substance, often a protein, which induces an immune response.
Biotechnology- the use of living organisms to improve human and animal
health, agriculture, industrial processes and other similar areas.
Booster- a second vaccination, separated from the first by time, which results in
an increase or extension of the effectiveness of the original vaccination.
Bovine- pertaining to cows.
Conjugated vaccine- a vaccine consisting of more than one antigen. For
example, the MMR vaccine is a conjugated vaccine consisting of antigens
specific for measles, mumps, and rubella.
Cow pox- also called "variolae vaccinae," a relatively benign disease of cows
which causes pus filled blisters similar to those seen in smallpox. Unlike
lethal smallpox, however, the blisters eventually disappear, leaving only a
small scar at the site of the blister.
Equine- pertaining to horses.
Genetic engineering- the manipulation of genetic material, generally to produce
a therapeutic or agricultural product either more quickly, or in greater
quantities, than is seen in nature.
Genome- an organism's genetic material. The complete set of genetic
information contained in a single organism.
Graese- an equine disease which causes open lesions. Noted by Edward
Jenner to be related to the development of cow pox.
Herd immunity- immunity characteristics of a population. Depends both on
immune function of individuals within the population and on the rate of
transmission amongst individuals.
Immune response- response of the immune system to the presence of
antigen(s). Involves function of a variety of cell types, including T and B
lymphocytes, macrophages and others.
Immunization- the process of inducing or providing immunity by administering a
vaccine, toxoid or antibody containing preparation. See Active Immunization,
Passive Immunization and Vaccination.
Inactivated vaccine- a vaccine made from an infectious agent that has been
inactivated or killed in some way. See Killed Vaccine.
Killed vaccine- a vaccine made from an infectious agent that has been
inactivated or killed in some way. See Inactivated Vaccine.
Memory cell- long-living cells which are produced as part of a normal immune
response. These cells are responsible for rapid immunologic response to
second and subsequent infections by a particular agent.
Morbidity- percentage of population exhibiting injury or disease.
Mortality- percentage of the population which died.
Mutation- a relatively rare, random event in which the base sequence of a DNA
molecule is changed. A mutation which occurs in a functional gene may
result in modification of the gene product.
Passive immunization- immunization with preformed antibodies or antitoxins.
Results in temporary immunity.
Plasma cell- derivative of a B lymphocyte which secretes antibodies.
Smallpox- an acute, highly infectious, often lethal viral disease characterized by
chills, fever, headache and eventual formation of widespread pus-filled
blisters. The smallpox virus has been eradicated from the world's population
and currently exists in only two high-containment laboratories.
Toxin- a poisonous substance.
Toxoid- a toxin which has been modified so that it is no longer toxic, but which
retains its antigenic functions. Can be used as a vaccine either alone, or in
combination with anti-toxin molecules.
Transcription- the process in which genetic information is transferred from a DNA
molecule to an RNA molecule.
Translation- the process in which genetic information is transferred from an RNA
molecule into a polypeptide product.
Vaccination- to induce immunity by the presentation of whole or part of a
pathogen to the body in order to stimulate an immune response. See
immunization. Originally developed by Edward Jenner using material from
cow pox lesions, the term is from the Latin "vacca" meaning "cow." See
Immunization. "Vaccination" and "Immunization" are often used
Vaccine- a harmless variant or derivative of a pathogen which is presented to
the body in order to induce an immune response.
Variolation- early form of immunization which involved the presentation of
material collected from smallpox lesions to uninfected individuals with the
goal of inducing immunity to future infection with smallpox.
Virulent- poisonous or pathogenic. Able to cause illness or disease.