Basic Science

What is immunization? How immunization works and the processes involved

len Alfred Ajibola - Sun, 24th March, 2019 @ 2:42 PM

Topics in Basic Science

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Academic Questions in Basic Science

Please check out our Test Your Knowledge page to see all Questions and Answers

Vaccination involves a process of introducing pathogens or germs into a person in order to prevent such person from the diseases they cause.

  • A. True

  • B. False

With regards to the human health, foreign bodies are best regarded as _____.

  • A. International bodies

  • B. Antilators

  • C. Antibodies

  • D. Antigens

  • E. Antibiotics

  • F. Antidotes

Disease causing organisms are termed _____.

  • A. Pests

  • B. Pathogens

  • C. Vectors

  • D. Insects

  • E. Disease carriers

  • F. All the above options are correct

____ is formed from a reaction utilizing oxygen and glucose in the mitochondria of cells.

  • A. Galactose

  • B. Fructose

  • C. Sucrose

  • D. AMP

  • E. ADP

  • F. ATP

Which of the following statement is false concerning carbohydrates?

  • A. They are composed of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen only

  • B. Carbon has the highest ratio of the constituent elements of carbohydrates

  • C. All carbohydrates are sugars

  • D. Fructose is a carbohydrate

  • E. Natural milk contains lactose and it's a carbohydrate

  • F. Fatty foods contains high calories of energy when compared to the same quantity of carbohydrate foods

Which of the following is a class of food?

  • A. Water

  • B. Fibre

  • C. Roughages

  • D. Latex

  • E. Tanins

  • F. Wax

Brachiation is a specialized form of movement exhibited by _____.

  • A. Human beings

  • B. Babbons

  • C. Chameleons

  • D. Toads

  • E. Millipedes

  • F. Birds

_____ is a form of locomotion whereby an organism move by means of its two hind limbs.

  • A. Pedalism

  • B. Duo Pedalism

  • C. Double Pedalism

  • D. Dual Pedalism

  • E. Bipedalism

  • F. Copedalism

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What is Immunization?

If you take a look at the upper part of your left arm, you may likely see a tiny depressed spot. This is a sign that you are immunized.

Before I define immunization, I think it's a good idea if we understood it's concept. Below is a brief analogy:

When a baby is born, he or she must live in an environment. For now, think of your environment as everything that surrounds you. It includes the air, your clothes, the food you eat and so on.

Please read on the basic characteristics of life here.

Always understand that the air, water and land that make up our environment contains billions of pathogens or germs. Pathogens are organisms that cause diseases. (Disease causing organisms). Based on this fact, it becomes obvious that a variety of micro-organisms constitute a part of our environment. In this regard, pathogens or germs may find their way into the baby's system (whom is yet to be immunized).

Please read on vectors and disease causing organisms here.


The 'unimmunized' baby's immune system has no knowledge of the pathogens that gained entry into the baby; hence these pathogens are termed foreign bodies or non-self with regards to the baby's system.

The baby's immune system will react very slowly while attempting to fight back. The slow response from the immune system arises because the baby's defence system (called antibodies) have got no memory of these foreign bodies.

Please read on micro-organisms that causes food, water and air borne diseases here.

It is worthy of note to state that foreign bodies are also referred to as antigens.

The terms 'foreign body, pathogens, germs and antigens' will be used interchangeable in this article since they all refer to something similar; that is, 'causative agent for diseases'.

The above scenerio can be detrimental to the baby's health; but the good news is: 'Immunization gives a prior knowledge to the immune system on the specific antigens that may gain entry into the baby's system'.

In short, the baby's immune system is now prepared for whatever foreign body (antigen) that may find it's way into him or her; as far as he/she is immunized from the diseases caused by the antigen.

Please read on homeostasis and negative feedback mechanism here.


In reality, after a baby is born, he or she must be immunized against the respective antigens and their consequent diseases.

Immunization is defined as a process of introducing weakened or dead forms of disease causing organisms (pathogens or germs) into a person in order to prevent such person from the diseases they cause.

These weakened or dead forms of disease causing organisms administered to the baby is termed vaccine. For this reason, immunization is also referred to as vaccination

Most vaccines are given by injection (via a needle), while others may be given orally (via the mouth) or nasally (via the nose). Vaccinations via injection and oral (mouth) are shown in the image below:

Immunization - Len Academy

Note: Immunization is also called vaccination, shots, jabs or needles

Please read on the importance of immunization here.

 

How Immunization Works

With regards to the fact that vaccines contain the exact same pathogens or germs that cause diseases (but in a weakened or dead form), the vaccine becomes harmless and do not make the child sick.

The importance of the infused vaccine is based on the fact that it triggers the production of antibodies.

Antibodies are responsible for fighting and killing the already weakened or dead pathogens contained in the vaccine during immunization or vaccination.

The generation of the specific antibodies against the pathogen or antigen (present in vaccine) will serve as an indication to preparedness; in case the same exact pathogen, antigen or germs find their way into the baby again.

However, understand that these antibodies retains a memory of how they rapidly killed their respective pathogens when they first entered the baby's system in their weakened/dead forms (during vaccination/immunization).

You can read key points on various subjects here here.


Now, let's imagine that after vaccination, the real pathogen (capable of causing disease) enters the child's body. At this point, the child will be on the safer side now because:

  • Antibodies required to fight and kill these germs/pathogens are already present in the child's system.
  • These antibodies can now easily kill the pathogens/germs because they have a memory of previously killing the exact disease causing organism.

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Alfred Ajibola is a Medical Biochemist, a passionate Academician with over 7 years of experience, a Versatile Writer, a Web Developer, a Cisco Certified Network Associate and a Cisco CyberOps Associate.


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Amazing facts in Basic Science

Cranberries - Len Academy

Ripe cranberries will bounce like a ball. For this reason, they are nicknamed 'bounceberries'. They will also float in water

Tomatoes and Avocados are fruits, not vegetables

Sweat in itself doesn't smell. The smell that accompanies sweat is actually caused by the presence of bacteria on your skin. This bacteria breaks the sweat coming out of your sweat pores down into acids, thus making it smell.

Deodorants contains alcohol and are antibacterial. They work by killing the bacteria that makes sweat smell

Chewing aspirin during a heart attack may be a life saver. This is true because the drug inhibits platelets from forming a clot that can block an artery of the heart, thus stopping a heart attack

The kneecaps of newly born babies are not made of bone. Rather, they are little bits of cartilage which ossifies (turns from cartilages to bone) from age 2 to 6

Ice cubes - Len Academy

Ice cubes made with fresh water are white in color while those made with boiled water are crystal clear

Cats are unable to taste sweet things

Apples float on water. Other fruits that float on water include lemons, bananas, pears, and oranges

Rain water is said to be pure because it's colorless, odourless and tasteless. Interestingly, it also contains vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 is an important nutrient that keeps the blood cells and neurones healthy. It also assist in building the DNA (a genetic material present in the cell's nucleus). Vitamin B12 also aid in the prevention of megaloblastic anemia which makes people weak and tired

Rasceta is the name given to the lines on your palm


NOTABLE POINTS IN Basic Science

The uniqueness of man can be defined as that which makes man distinct from every other animal and living organism.

Humans are higher animals when compared to other animals.

Under the classification of living organisms, humans belong to an order termed primates and thus share the same characteristics (as primates). In addition to these features, they also have their unique characteristics.

Please read on man's uniqueness here

Waste Management can be defined as the process of collecting, processing, recycling and controlling any material considered as waste.

Improperly disposed waste litters on road sides, in land fills, gutters and ditches. They are generally bad for the following reasons:

Wastes can be classified into various types. These are:

  • Biodegradable waste

  • Non-Biodegradable waste

  • Refuse

  • Sewage

  • Recyclable waste

  • Electronic waste

  • Green waste

  • Biomedical waste

  • Metabolic waste

  • Radioactive waste

  • Chemical waste

  • Animal product waste

Please read the explanations on the classification of wastes here

The African Star Apple is a seasonal fruit that grows abundantly in Nigeria and other West African Countries. It's fondly called African Cherry, Agbalumo or Udara in some parts of Nigeria.

African Star Apple, Cherry, Agbalumo, Udara - Len Academy

Below are some benefits of the African Star Apple:

  • It contains high amount of vitamin C

  • It contains a high amount of calcium

  • It contains high amount of potassium

  • It is a powerful antioxidant

  • It aids in weight reduction

  • It contains a high amount of iron

  • Its leaves, fruits and seeds are medicinal

  • It aids digestion and prevents vomiting

Please read more on the african star apple here

Disaccharides are composed of two monosaccharides joined together; thus are also referred to as double sugars.

Disaccharides are often added as sweeteners to food; for instance, the table sugar called sucrose is a disaccharide often used by us to sweeten our tea.

Maltose is another disaccharide used as an ingredient for making malt drinks, chocolates and candies.

The breast milk contains the disaccharide -> lactose.

Lactose is very vital for the normal growth and development of infants.

In adults, disaccharides are non essential nutrients. This implies that we can live without them as adults.

Below is a summary of monosaccharides that make up disaccharides (double sugars).

  • Maltose = Glucose + Glucose

  • Lactose = Glucose + Galactose

  • Sucrose = Glucose + Fructose

Other examples of disaccharides include trehalulose and isomaltulose