Adewale Adeyemi’s Expanded Definition of Immunology
TO: Prof. Jason Ellis
FROM: Adewale R. Adeyemi
SUBJECT: Expanded Definition of immunology
The purpose of this document is to write expanded definition on the term immunology which is a branch of biomedicine that deals with the structure and function of the immune system. The term immunology will be scarcely mention in this writing rather immune system will be made mention of a lot as immunology shines a brighter light on what compromises the immune system, its structure, how it works and cells that are essential to the immune system.
The topics covered in this paper will include the definition and structure of the immune system, types of immunity which is innate and adaptive, and immunopathology’s like autoimmunity.
“The immune system refers to a collection of cells and proteins that function to protect the skin, respiratory passages, intestinal tract and other areas from foreign antigens, such as microbes (organisms such as bacteria, fungi, and parasites), viruses, cancer cells, and toxins.”( Warrington et al, 2011, p.1). This means the immune system is a complex network of organs tissue and substances they make which helps the body fight infections and diseases.
“The immune system is a distinct organ in vertebrates, specialized to defend against invading infections or poisons in order to preserve the integrity of the organism.” (Stefan Offermanns, 2008, p.482). Here the immune system is a collection of organs in the vertebrates which is designed to fight against infections and diseases. Both definitions are both related in the sense that, tit could be a collection of cells or a distinct organ in the body but they both fight against infections and diseases.
The innate immune response has no immunologic memory and, therefore, it is unable to recognize or “memorize” the same pathogen should the body be exposed to it in the future (Marshall et al, 2018, p.1). This means innate immune response lacks the ability to quicky and specifically recognize a virus the body as encountered before and immediately initiate a corresponding response.
Adaptive immunity, on the other hand, is antigen-dependent and antigen-specific and, therefore, involves a lag time between exposure to the antigen and maximal response. (Marshall et al, 2018, p.1). In the case of adaptive immunity, it depends on a toxin or other foreign substance which induces an immune response in the body, it then uses immunological memory to learn about the threat and enhance the immune response accordingly. Both types of immunity are related in the sense that they both act together to defend the body against infections and diseases while they both differ with the presence of immunological memory in adaptive and inmate possess no immunological memory. The immunological memory simply quickly and specifically recognizes an antigen that the body has previously encountered and initiate a corresponding immune response.
“First up, supercharging your immune system with specific foods, like garlic and honey, is an old debunked idea. “Simply put, you cannot ‘boost’ your immune system through diet, and no specific food or supplement will prevent you catching COVID-19/Coronavirus,” said the British Dietetic Association in a statement.” (Wong J, 2020, p.23). Put differently consuming food like garlic or honey or going on a diet will not boost the immune system nor prevent the body from contracting a deadly virus.
“What we do know is that some nutrients are essential to a healthy immune system, such as vitamin C, zinc and selenium. Certain dietary patterns, such as eating plenty of fruit, vegetables and wholegrains, may help reduce the inflammation that can contribute to complications in covid-19.” (Wong J, 2020, p.23). This implies consuming nutrients that are essential to the body like Vitamin C, Vitamin D or Zinc can help the body when its in the process of fighting these deadly viruses and can help reduce complications.
I believe a breakthrough research in decoding how the human immune system prevents and controls disease is essential. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning are something in my field that I feel will be critical to this breakthrough. As we know, the immune system is a complex network of cells and proteins that function to protect the skin, respiratory passages, intestinal tract, and other areas from foreign antigens and decoding it would be paramount to understanding how it fights illness and diseases. Utilizing Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning can help better process and analyze the immune system and help find better ways to fight disease everywhere as data can be processed a billion times faster.
Marshall, J. S., Warrington, R., Watson, W., & Kim, H. L. (2018). An introduction to immunology and immunopathology. Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology, 14(1), N.PAG. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13223-018-0278-1
Warrington, R., Watson, W., Kim, H. L., & Antonetti, F. R. (2011). An introduction to immunology and immunopathology. Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology, 7(S1), 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1186/1710-1492-7-S1-S1
Wong, J. (2020). Beware the corona diet. New Scientist, 246(3286), 23.
Offermans, S., Rosenthal, W. (2008). Encyclopedia of Molecular Pharmacology (2 volume set) (2nd ed. 2008 ed.) Springer.