10Tues_Synthetic epidemic

10Tues_Synthetic epidemic - Lab Exercise: Simulating an...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Lab Exercise: Simulating an Influenza Epidemic OBJECTIVES 1. Describe how immunizations work to cause immunity. 2. Define herd immunity. 3. Define antigenic shift and antigenic drift and their relationship to immunization efficacy. 4. Describe the various types of immunizations. Why is it recommended to get “boosters” of some immunizations? BACKGROUND Epidemiology is the study of disease transmission, and epidemiologists are the scientists within this field who work to identify the etiologic agent (s) of a particular disease or syndrome. Many epidemiologists study infectious or communicable diseases , including contagious diseases, which are transmitted easily through a population. When the spread of these diseases results in the infection of individuals over more than one continent, the disease is said to have spread to epidemic proportions. It is of particular interest to the study of epidemiology to understand how a disease is spread and how best to prevent this spread. It is important to remember that only a few hundred years ago, the Germ Theory of Disease was in its infancy and without a clear understanding of microorganisms and their relationship to infectious diseases, scientists lacked a basic understanding of how and why particular diseases spread from one person to another. Without these, it would be impossible to stop the transmission. However, the work of Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch, among others, enabled scientists and medical practitioners to understand and control the spread of disease. Additionally, the work of Louis Pasteur and Edward Jenner provided a way of protecting individuals from infectious diseases by means of immunization . The first immunization was administered by Edward Jenner to protect against Small Pox and came in the form of the less-virulent etiologic agent of Cow Pox, the Vaccinia virus. Jenner called this inoculation a vaccination as a nod to the Vaccinia virus. Today, we use the term immunization to refer to any inoculation of an avirulent organism to protect against later infection by a pathogen. Jenner and Pasteur hypothesized that the body would remember and fight off pathogens better during subsequent exposure. We now know that Jenner was successful because exposure of the body to Cow Pox produces immunity that the body uses against the closely-related and far more virulent Small Pox virus. In modern laboratories, pathogens have been bred to remain immunogenic ( i.e . capable of generating an immune response in the host) while becoming increasingly avirulent- thereby capable of generating the immunological memory mentioned above, while providing a safe alternative to actual infection. This is important particularly in cases where the natural pathogen is quite virulent, even unto death or permanent disability. This was true of Small Pox in the 1700s and it remains true today; Small Pox immunizations are the same Vaccinia virus vaccination that was administered by Edward Jenner. On the other hand, immunizations have become quite sophisticated, including
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 12/23/2009 for the course BIO 205 taught by Professor Murphy during the Fall '09 term at Miramar College.

Page1 / 7

10Tues_Synthetic epidemic - Lab Exercise: Simulating an...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online