Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Immune System

Perhaps the denouement is behind us and we are finally on the down turn of coursework for the year. Getting out while the sun is still in the sky and having understandable lectures is a nice change for the new spring season.

Immune System

We have started our coursework in Immunity which at first seems a rather simple subject. It's not until you learn about the variability and diversity that exists when it becomes very complex. Sometimes I wonder why my immune system is just not performing so well. Does anyone know how to treat chronic rhinorrhea? Perhaps when school is out it will cure itself.

The immune system has many components that together provide a healing response to invasions. Having a good knowledge of individual parts will simplify the learning process of understanding how they interact to function efficiently. Although it is good fun learning how it all works, experiencing this process is anything but fun. Fortunately, vaccinations are available to help ward off possible infections.

Resistant or mutant strains of viral and bacterial organisms can prove to be chaotic. The common cold and flu are results of this phenomenon as well as more serious illnesses. Despite our best efforts to enhance the immune system with pharmaceuticals and exercise, it will still have the occasional bout of weakness leaving us in the proverbial pits.

Creative minds have made a variety of infectious agents available for purchase with an added sense of comfort and wit. Check out these giant microbes.

Clinical Corner

Antibiotics

Physicians prescribe antibiotics to eliminate infection. A growing concern is the resistance that develops when patients do not finish their prescribed antibiotic regimen or take it as prescribed. (Some of the bacteria that is not killed may not be susceptible to the specific antibiotic.) This leaves a window of opportunity for bacteria to alter its response to drugs creating a new strain that is more resilient. If this continues to occur in the general population, antibiotics may not work on general infections causing severe complications in public health. The moral of the story, take your antibiotics the way your doctor prescribed them.

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