Measles: immune system and close physical contact essay

It starts on the back of the ears and, after a few hours, spreads to the head and neck before spreading to cover most of the body, often causing itching. The measles rash appears two to four days after the initial symptoms and lasts for up to eight days. The rash is said to "stain", changing color from red to dark brown, before disappearing.

Measles: immune system and close physical contact essay

This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract All organisms are connected in a complex web of relationships. Although many of these are benign, not all are, and everything alive devotes significant resources to identifying and neutralizing threats from other species.

From bacteria through to primates, the presence of some kind of effective immune system has gone hand in hand with evolutionary success.

This article focuses on mammalian immunity, the challenges that it faces, the mechanisms by which these are addressed, and the consequences that arise when it malfunctions. The pressure that natural selection exerts is inexhaustible and unending.

Emerging infectious diseases have as much potential to shape future human history as the epidemics and pandemics of the past. Managing this threat depends on understanding how to maximize the potential of our sophisticated immune system in the service of human health.

It is a fundamental property of immunity that no part of our body is cut off from its surveillance. For this reason, although the immune system may seem a less substantial thing than an organ such as the heart or the liver, in aggregate, immunity consumes enormous resources, producing the large number of cells that it depends on for successful functioning.

After early childhood, most immune cells are produced from the bone marrow. Some of these then undergo very significant secondary education before they are released to patrol the body. In a routine blood test, five different kinds of white blood cell will be counted Table 1.

An immunologist or a haematologist may subdivide these populations further, on the basis of the proteins that are expressed in their cell membranes. Among these proteins are receptors by which cells interact with each other and the environment. Receptors bind ligands which may be receptors on other cells, or soluble molecules such as cytokines.

Many carry out fundamental functions, such as transporting glucose into the cell. The receptors associated with the immune system are generally concerned with interrogating the environment for evidence of danger, infection or abnormal cell death. In the course of an immune response, cells follow a programme, such that the overall outcome maximizes the likelihood of surviving and eliminating infection or cancer.

White blood cells analysed by routine blood tests. Neutrophils and macrophages respond quickly to local infection; lymphocytes co-ordinate the adaptive response Open in a separate window Receptors are also present inside the cell where they play an important role, acting to detect evidence of infection.

Organisms such as viruses can spend most of their life hidden in the complicated cytoplasm of the cell, making them difficult to recognize from the outside.

Cells use a sophisticated system for sampling the proteins they are making, to check that none have come from viruses. If cells detect such telltale signs they respond, by producing cytokines that serve as alarm signals for surrounding tissues, and by committing rapid and effective suicide that leaves a cell remnant that can initiate adaptive immunity directed at the inciting infection.

Early in an immune response, the most important of these are the innate immune system cells neutrophils and macrophages, which are the first at the scene of an environmental breach, such as an insect bite. They secrete highly destructive substances including enzymes that digest proteins and reactive chemicals such as bleach that kill.

Then they engulf and digest what they have damaged, a process called phagocytosis. Infections that are not destroyed by this attack attract the attention of lymphocytes. All of these different responses rely on the selective expression of specific families of genes.

Studies of the immune system have been at the forefront of characterizing how different gene programmes function.

Measles: Causes, symptoms, and treatment

Immune cells read the environment through their receptors and then modify how they use the genes encoded by their DNA.

Some groups of genes are switched on, and others are switched off. Sometimes these gene programmes change the cytokines that cells secrete, sometimes they change the pattern of receptors on the surface and sometimes they change how resistant the cell is to infection.

Information in the environment can label a specific location, keeping immune cells from moving away. Other signals affect the whole body, such as the cytokines that stimulate changes in the regulation of body temperature that lead to fever.

The adaptations that we make in response to infection are measured over many time scales. They may occur rapidly in minutes and resolve just as fast; they may continue for days until a viral infection is cleared or they may be long-lasting and change the local anatomy of a tissue such as the autoimmune disease rheumatoid arthritis.

Challenges An effective immune system must be able to interpret changes in the world around it and respond appropriately.

Measles: immune system and close physical contact essay

To do this, it has to solve a number of specific problems. Discrimination Immune systems have an uneasy relationship with the environment. Most of the time an encounter with something new is harmless, but the small fraction of times that it is not can be very dangerous indeed.

An effective immune system must be able to discriminate such differences, distinguishing self from non-self and distinguishing harmless non-self from dangerous non-self.ADVERTISEMENTS: Immunity: Types, Components and Characteristics of Acquired Immunity!

Definition: Immunity is the ability of the body to protect against all types of foreign bodies like bacteria, virus, toxic substances, etc.

which enter the body. Immunity is also called disease resistance. The lack of immunity is known as susceptibility.

Diseases and the Immune System. What is a disease? A disease is an illness or sickness caused by a virus, bacteria or parasite that presents with certain symptoms and physical /5(3). If you’ve been in contact with someone with measles and you are not immune to measles (have not been immunised or have not had a measles infection), there are different treatment options.

A person with an impaired immune system should not be immunised. The simplest form of prevention for lyssavirus is to avoid close contact . Women that are pregnant & get infected with measles tend to miscarry, labour per-maturely & give birth to low-weight infants, but birth defects have not been linked to introduction to measles.

The MMR vaccine has triggered a health scare & created controversy around the world. Measles: Immune Amnesia and Susceptibility to Infectious Diseases. I always thought one contacted measles through physical contact with a measles patient.

Finding out it could be contacted airborne makes me wonder why a lot more people didn’t get measles. Mass measles vaccination has reduced by % in resource-poor countries and by . Essay on Measles: Immune System and Close Physical Contact It is very likely if you share a house with an infected person, or if you are in close physical contact with them, that you will get measles.

Scientists says its approximately 90% likely that you will get infected especially if you have not been infected before or vaccinated against it.

Measles: Immune System and Close Physical Contact | Essay Example