IMMUNOPROPHYLAXIS


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Vaccines => active artificial immunity

Prophylactic immunoglobulins => passive artificial immunity

In evaluating immunological status, you must pay attention to avoid confunding immune responses toward the intended target from reactions caused by hypersensitivities towards other components (rarely antigen purification is absolute).

A positive or negative result doesn't give us information neither on past or present clinical statuses nor on effective protection against reinfection, but just on the presence or absence of some memory T lymphocytes or antibodies, respectively : anyway the presence of these lymphocytes is often considered equivalent to effective protection against a further challenge and immunoprophylaxis is not practiced. The latter consideration is not always true : e.g. natural infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, even when eradication of a primary infection by chemotherapy does occur, fails to protect against reinfection even if the existing memory lymphocytes are able to substain a type IV hypersensitivity against PPD.


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