Sleeping immune system and effects

  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

What will happen if a pathogen invades us and our immune system is completely ignorant about it or sleeping? Let us suppose it fails to identify the intruders. Can the consequences be explained pathophysiologically by taking any germ as an example?

I want to know how a pathogen causes diseases. Normally it is assumed that the immune system identifies and attempts to eliminate the intruders immediately. Inflammation is ensued. Most of the problem we face are due to inflammation only.

Suppose in case no immune system, no fight and no inflammation. Then what will ensue? There is no one to fight the germs.

How the unopposed germ will cause damage to our cells/tissues or body?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
pinball1970
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Pathogens cause diseases in different ways, they can damage cells, tissues, organs as a result of their own biochemical reproductive cycles.


Some secrete toxins Clostridium botulinum (botulism) Clostridium perfringens (gangrene)


Some use our cells, structural proteins, cell membranes etc as a substrate, reproduce and damage those or our own immune response kills the infected cells which causes inflammation pain and cell death.


By “ignorant” or “sleeping” I assume you mean never having encountered that particular antigen? Or immunosuppressed individuals? (Chemo patients, HIV patients, transplant patients)


First time vs second (and third) time immune response is the basis of vaccination.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T_cell#Memory


Transplant patients who are taking immunosuppressant drugs can be susceptible to some cancers


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24831943


Absolutely tonnes on the net about this.
 
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  • #3
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pinball1970 said:
By “ignorant” or “sleeping” I assume you mean never having encountered that particular antigen? Or immunosuppressed individuals?
I wanted to assess the damage done by the pathogen alone without considering the resistance/immunity from the body. I wanted to know the process of damage being done with the resistance/immunity component completely removed.

So you can assume completely immunosuppressed or immunity-removed individuals.
 
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  • #4
jim mcnamara
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Quick points:
A. diseases can be caused
by parasites (malaria) ,
by environment (COPD from smoking, toxins like arsenic, skin cancer from UV, dietary problems like type II diabetes),
by genetics (Cystic fibrosis, some forms of Breast cancer https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/brca-gene-test/about/pac-20384815)
by immunodeficiency - meaning the immune response is 'turned off' by prescription drugs, toxins

Main point is: bacteria are not always the bad guys in terms of disease.
 
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  • #5
jim mcnamara
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Direct answers:
cholera (Vibrio cholera) kills by dysentery - expelling required electrolytes and water, dehydration causes organ systems to stop working
bacterial pneumonia blocks O2 <-> CO2 exchanges in the alveoli
tetanus kills by stopping voluntary muscle movement, eventually patient dies from dehydration (for example)

@pinball1970 actually gave you very good answers at a higher level.
 
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