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immunology

immunology, branch of medicine that studies the response of organisms to foreign substances, e.g., viruses, bacteria, and bacterial toxins (see immunity). Immunologists study the tissues and organs of the immune system (bone marrow, spleen, tonsils, thymus, lymphatic system), its specialized cells (e.g., B and T lymphocytes and antibodies), and the influence of genetic, nutritional, and other factors on the immune system. They also study disease-causing organisms to determine how they injure the host and help to develop vaccines (see vaccination).

In addition to studying the normal workings of the immune system, immunologists study unwanted immune responses such as allergies, essentially immunological responses of the body to substances or organisms that, as a rule, do not affect most people, and autoimmune diseases (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis and lupus erythematosus) which occur when the body reacts immunologically to some of its own constituents.

Immunologists have developed a large number of procedures have been developed to detect and measure quantities of immunologically active substances such as circulating antibodies and immune globulins. Immune globulins that can be given intravenously (IVIGs) have been found to be more effective against antibody deficiencies and certain autoimmune diseases than their older intramuscular counterparts; their use in a wide spectrum of bacterial and viral infections is under study. Current research in immunology is also aimed at understanding the role of T lymphocytes (see immunity), which play a major part in the body's defenses against infections and neoplasms. AIDS, for example, is the disease that results when the HIV virus destroys certain of these T cells.

See studies by R. Desowitz (1988) and R. Gallo (1991).

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immunology

im·mu·nol·o·gy / ˌimyəˈnäləjē/ • n. the branch of medicine and biology concerned with immunity. DERIVATIVES: im·mu·no·log·ic / ˌimyənəˈläjik; iˌmyoō-/ adj. im·mu·no·log·i·cal / ˌimyənəˈläjikəl; iˌmyoō-/ adj. im·mu·no·log·i·cal·ly / ˌimyənəˈläjik(ə)lē; iˌmyoō-/ adv. im·mu·nol·o·gist / -jist/ n.

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immunology

immunology Study of immunity and allergy. It is concerned with the preventing disease by vaccination – active immunity; or by injections of antibodies – passive immunity. Allergic reactions result from an overactive response to harmless foreign substances such as dust, rather than to infective organisms.

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immunology

immunology (im-yoo-nol-ŏji) n. the study of immunity and all of the phenomena connected with the defence mechanisms of the body.
immunological adj.

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immunology

immunology •haji • algae • Angie •argy-bargy, Panaji •edgy, sedgy, solfeggi, veggie, wedgie •cagey, stagy •mangy, rangy •Fiji, gee-gee, squeegee •Murrumbidgee, ridgy, squidgy •dingy, fringy, mingy, stingy, whingy •cabbagy • prodigy • effigy • villagey •porridgy • strategy • cottagey •dodgy, podgy, splodgy, stodgy •pedagogy •Georgie, orgy •ogee • Fuji •bhaji, budgie, pudgy, sludgy, smudgy •bulgy •bungee, grungy, gungy, scungy, spongy •allergy, analogy, genealogy, hypallage, metallurgy, mineralogy, tetralogy •elegy •antilogy, trilogy •aetiology (US etiology), amphibology, anthology, anthropology, apology, archaeology (US archeology), astrology, biology, campanology, cardiology, chronology, climatology, cosmology, craniology, criminology, dermatology, ecology, embryology, entomology, epidemiology, etymology, geology, gynaecology (US gynecology), haematology (US hematology), hagiology, horology, hydrology, iconology, ideology, immunology, iridology, kidology, meteorology, methodology, musicology, mythology, necrology, neurology, numerology, oncology, ontology, ophthalmology, ornithology, parasitology, pathology, pharmacology, phraseology, phrenology, physiology, psychology, radiology, reflexology, scatology, Scientology, seismology, semiology, sociology, symbology, tautology, technology, terminology, theology, topology, toxicology, urology, zoology • eulogy • energy • synergy • apogee • liturgy • lethargy •burgee, clergy •zymurgy • dramaturgy

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