Immunology related to immune system



Immunology is the study of the immune system and is a very important branch of the medical and biological sciences. The immune system protects us from infection through various lines of defense. If the immune system is not functioning as it should, it can result in disease, such as autoimmunity, allergy and cancer. It is also now becoming clear that immune responses contribute to the development of many common disorders not traditionally viewed as immunologic, including metabolic, cardiovascular, and neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s.

An immunologist is a scientist and/or clinician who specialises in immunology. Many immunologists work in a laboratory focusing on research, either in academia or private industry (e.g. in the pharmaceutical industry). Other immunologists – “clinical immunologists” – are clinicians who focus on the diagnosis and management of diseases of the immune system, such as autoimmune diseases and allergies.

Immune system

The immune system is a complex system of structures and processes that has evolved to protect us from disease. Molecular and cellular components make up the immune system. The function of these components is divided up into nonspecific mechanisms, those which are innate to an organism, and responsive responses, which are adaptive to specific pathogens. Fundamental or classical immunology involves studying the components that make up the innate and adaptive immune system.

Innate immunity is the first line of defence and is non-specific. That is, the responses are the same for all potential pathogens, no matter how different they may be. Innate immunity includes physical barriers (e.g. skin, saliva etc) and cells (e.g. macrophages, neutrophils, basophils, mast cells etc). These components ‘are ready to go’ and protect an organism for the first few days of infection. In some cases, this is enough to clear the pathogen, but in other instances the first defence becomes overwhelmed and a second line of defence kicks in.

Adaptive immunity is the second line of defence which involves building up memory of encountered infections so can mount an enhanced response specific to the pathogen or foreign substance. Adaptive immunity involves antibodies, which generally target foreign pathogens roaming free in the bloodstream. Also involved are T cells, which are directed especially towards pathogens that have colonised cells and can directly kill infected cells or help control the antibody response.

Prior to the designation of immunity, from the etymological root immunis, which is Latin for "exempt", early physicians characterized organs that would later be proven as essential components of the immune system. The important lymphoid organs of the immune system are the thymus, bone marrow, and chief lymphatic tissues such as spleen, tonsils, lymph vessels, lymph nodes, adenoids, and liver. When health conditions worsen to emergency status, portions of immune system organs, including the thymus, spleen, bone marrow, lymph nodes, and other lymphatic tissues, can be surgically excised for examination while patients are still alive. Many components of the immune system are typically cellular in nature and not associated with any specific organ, but rather are embedded or circulating in various tissues located throughout the body.

The journal of “Medical Microbiology & Diagnosis” is a peer reviewed medical journal that includes a wide range of topics in this fields including Bacteriology, Clinical and Medical Diagnostics, Parasitology, Bacterial Infections and creates a platform for the authors to make their contribution towards the journal. The editorial office promises a thorough peer review of the submitted manuscripts to ensure quality.

Best Regards,

Mary Wilson,

Associate Managing Editor,

Medical Microbiology & Diagnosis