Immunology is characterized as the analysis of the immune system (the molecules, cells, organs, and systems) which is responsible for the following:
- Recognizing and disposing of non-self-substances
- Responding to and interacting with body components and associated experiences
- How the immune system can be manipulated to defend against or treat disease
Serology is a branch of immunology that specializes in the detection and measurement of particular antibodies that form in the blood as a result of exposure to a disease-causing or other type of antigen. Serologic methods are used in blood banking to assess blood group antigens and antibodies in the blood of a patient or blood donor.
Role of the Immune system
The immune system’s role is to distinguish “self” from “nonself” and to protect the body from nonself substances. Nonself materials can range from life-threatening infectious microorganisms to a life-saving organ transplant. Natural susceptibility to, recovery from, and acquired resistance to infectious disease are desirable outcomes of immunity. A deficiency or dysfunction of the immune system may result in a variety of disorders, including acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Allergies, rejection of transplanted organs, and the creation of an autoimmune disease, a condition in which the body assaults itself as a foreign substance, as happens in insulin-dependent (Type 1) diabetes and pernicious anemia, are all undesirable effects of immunity.
Factors affecting the Immune system
Many factors, including an individual’s general health and age, are essential considerations in disease defense. The ability to react immunologically to disease deteriorates with age. While the fetus and newborn have nonspecific and unique body defenses, many of these defenses are underdeveloped at birth, increasing the risk of infectious disease. Other factors that may affect body defenses include genetic predisposition to several diseases, nutritional status, and a person’s stress management strategy.