Students feel the Immunology terminologies are difficult to understand and they feel the concepts are complex hence they need to read many books to get a clear idea of a concept. It is one of the basic disciplines in all the biomedical courses. Student need to analyze cases by observing the previous work references to integrate with them and learn. Other than class hours students need to read on immunology topics and it need lot of imagination and visual pictures to understand. When students attempt to memories without understanding they cannot remember anything.
Immunology is the basic discipline of medicine. It includes study of immune system which protects the body against foreign agents. Foreign agents include microbes, erythrocytes and cellular debris. Immunis is the latin term giving the meaning 'exemption' or 'freedom'. Immunity is of two types' innate immunity and acquired immunity. Natural immunity is a natural defense mechanism which comprises inflammatory barriers, phagocytic, anatomical and inflammatory barriers which prevent the entry of microorganisms and eliminate them.
Acquired immunity otherwise known as adaptive immunity. It is a specific defense mechanism which elicit immune response after it encounters antigen. It is activated after several days of foreign antigen entry. It supplements innate immunity. Acquired immunity employs two types of cells namely lymphocytes and antigen presenting cells. Both T cells and B cells are produced from bone marrow and are responsible for humeral and cell mediated immunity. Humeral immunity involves B-cells and antibodies which may be free or bind as cell surface receptors. Free antibodies react with antigen and destroy those using following reactions like agglutination, precipitation and neutralization. It reacts to intact antigens. The processed antigen on the antigen presenting cells are recognized by The cells and send signal to produce Tc cells which target antigen infected cell and kill them which is called cell mediated immunity. Acquired immune response can be used during vaccination and are called active immunity. Administration of antibodies to do immune function is called passive immunity.
Immune system has two types of organs 1.Primary or central lymphoid organ or secondary or peripheral lymphoid organ.colostrum, salivary gland, tear glands are the components of immune system.
The primary lymphoid organ includes lymphoepithelial cells and tissues used for precursor lymphocyte proliferation, maturation and differentiation. Thymus and bone marrow are the examples. Bursa of fabricus in birds. Secondary lymphoid organ is the place where they are distributed to defend from antigens. Examples are lymph node and spleen. Thymus situated at the upper part of heart. It gets mature before birth and shows progressive growth only till the age of 12 and then start involution. Precursor lymphocytes receive thy antigen and get matured by hormones thymulin, thymopoietin, and thymosin and get distributed in lymphnode and spleen. Group of lymph nodes drain antigen from specific part of the body. Cortex and medulla are B cell dependent and par cortex is the T cell dependent area. Lymph nodes enlarge during antigen stimulation and filters antigen. The trapped antigen are destroyed by macrophages and dendrite cells having bacteriolytic enzyme and free radicals to destroy pathogen. Spleen traps and filters blood borne antigens. It is a reservoir tank for setting bleed and kills aged RBC cells. Lymphiodcells aggregates are seen as peyer's patches, tonsils and appendix and sometimes seen as scattered isolated lymphoid follicles called MALT.MALT prevents enteric and respiratory infections. Immunology gives us understanding about antigens which can bind to immune cells and immunogen which elicit immune response. It also differentiate antigen into natural and potential (artificial antigens).The region in antigen showing variation in cluster of amino acid sequence is an epitope called antigenic determinant. It gives an idea about immunoglobulin. They are glycoprotein's which has two polypeptide chains. It has Light chain and heavy chain. Depending on the difference in structure in H chain it is classified into five types IgG, IgA, IgM, IgD, IgE. Each perform specific functions. The variable region of heavy chain and light chain has variation in amino acid sequence. These are called hot spots or paratope specific to epitope.
Immunology plays a main role in transplantation. The presence HLA antigens in individual tissues are unique and the genes responsible for it present in chromosome 8 and these antigens are responsible for graft rejection and acceptance. If there is a tissue match then the transplantation is successful.
Improper function of immune system leads to disease like autoimmune diseases. Example arthritis, multiple sclerosis are understood after advancement in techniques and testing. Anaphylaxis and asthma are explained as immune disorders. Stem cell cloning of organs brings solution to transplantation rejection. Immunodeficiency disease may result due to mutations. Example Severe combined immunodeficiency disease or may be due to infections. Example.HIVIt has disciplines such as immunopathology and immunogenetics.
IMPORTANCE OF IMMUNOLOGY
Immunology is a broad part of biology; rather it is a part of physiology, where we study on how our body encounters when a foreign pathogen (disease causing germs) invades our biological system. We live in an atmosphere where there is more number of pathogens in just a cc of air surrounding us, than our own body cells. That is right, and we cannot see them as they are microscopic in size, they cannot be seen through our naked eyes. So, there is a high chance to get infected by these pathogens all the time. And this is obvious that there must be an in-built defence mechanism of our body, to get rid of the high chance of getting infected. This is why we do not get sick all the time, though these harmful pathogens are present around us all the time. So, this can be clearly inferred that our body immunity plays an important part to keep our body away from these infections.
Immunology is very important branch of biology. This helps us to know about the mechanisms by how our body deals with invading foreign pathogens. And various aspects on how to improve our body immunity artificially. This includes vaccination, artificial antibodies production etc.
As for brief idea on immunology, there are two type of immunity, our body deals with. First is innate or in-born immunity that comes along from birth of a baby. And second is acquired immunity. We do not get it from birth, we have to acquire it. This means once an infection has occurred, then only one can acquire specific immunity against that particular pathogen. Artificial immunity deals with this acquired type of immunity. We can artificially allow infection to occur to one person, and thus preventing further infection of that particular pathogen. Though the infection is mild and disease rarely happens after artificial infection.
There are many types of body cells, which directly or indirectly constitute our immunity system. White blood cells, present in our blood are the most abundant cells that are part of our immunity system. Besides, there are many types of macrophage cells (cells that engulf foreign pathogens), present almost every part of our body. They too play a big role to prevent infections.
DIFFICULTIES FACED BY STUDENTS WHILE SOLVING PROBLEMS ON IMMUNOLOGY
As we discussed, immunology is a very important topic of biology. And with every coming day, newer theories and hypothesis are getting introduced from various parts of the globe. As a student, immunology is not a very easy part to learn with ease. Various aspects of immunology deal with molecular analysis to cell signalling. And to be very frank, these are some most complex topic of biology. There is no doubt in many students may face difficulties when solving problems on immunology.
The concept of modern education system emphasizes upon application oriented learning. And this is the reason behind a student has to prepare a lot of assignments. By doing this, students face most difficulties. There are plenty of reasons behind this.
- There are a few contents available online and offline on immunology for the students. So, when a student has to prepare an assignment or to solve a problem on immunology, it becomes very difficult as the student could not find too many available sources on that particular topic.
- The research articles and thesis papers, that are available online, are hard to understand for a student by himself. Only an expert on that area can correctly summarize it. So, for a student, it is impossible to use these articles and papers as source.
- If a student does not possess any concept on a particular topic and he/she is assigned for an assignment on that topic, it is impossible to do so. Without proper helps and supports from an expert, the thing cannot be done.
- Sometimes, a student gets assigned for a number of assignments within a very short period of time. And many times, it is not possible to complete the assignments within the given period of time.
One can easily mention many other difficulties. But these are surely some important ones.
FEW IMPORTANT TIPS TO SOLVE PROBLEMS ON IMMUNOLOGY
There are no such rules and regulations. But to solve a problem more efficiently, one can follow these.
- The student must know the problem and what is to be solved. Immunology is a topic where extensive research is going on every day. So, he/she has to accustom with the current researches done on that topic.
- The solution of the problem should be to the point. There is no room for literature in scientific field.
- Solution should be attractive. It should contain tables, graphs, figures, whenever and wherever needed.
- There should be a proper introduction and conclusion.
- All the references should be duly mentioned.
One can follow these to ensure the quality of the solution.
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