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Immunity (Nursing)

by Heide Cygan, DNP, RN

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    00:01 Let's talk about immunity.

    00:03 Immunity allows us to tolerate the presence of an agent, such as a bacteria or virus.

    00:09 It's our ability to resist infection. There are several types of immunity that prevent infectious disease.

    00:16 So let's talk about those different types.

    00:18 First, we have passive immunity.

    00:22 Passive immunity occurs when a person is given immunity.

    00:26 Now, this is short-term immunity that provides resistance to a specific disease-causing agent.

    00:31 There are two different ways that one can be given immunity.

    00:35 One is through maternal antibody transfer.

    00:38 This is the transfer of antibodies from a mother to a newborn.

    00:41 It can take place in two different ways, through the placenta or through breastmilk.

    00:46 So, in this instance, it's like the newborn is borrowing immunity from the mother.

    00:51 The second way that one can be given passive immunity is through receiving immunoglobulin therapy.

    00:58 This means transferring immunity through the administration of immunoglobulin in a healthcare facility.

    01:04 So, let's say for example someone's bitten by a venomous snake. They receive antivenom.

    01:08 So, let's say for example someone's bitten by a venomous snake. They receive antivenom.

    01:10 This is really just a combination of antibodies against that snake's venom.

    01:14 The best part about passive immunity is that it's immediate.

    01:18 However, it only lasts for a short period of time.

    01:22 The second type of immunity is active immunity.

    01:26 Active immunity is a result of production of antibodies in our immune system as a result of exposure to an infectious agent.

    01:34 Active immunity is long-term immunity.

    01:37 It can be acquired either naturally, through infection with the actual disease, or artificially, through vaccination against the disease.

    01:46 Either way, this type of immunity occurs as a result of an exposure to disease organism.

    01:52 This exposure triggers the immune system to produce antibodies to that disease in the moment, and in the future.

    01:59 Then we have herd immunity.

    02:02 Herd immunity is also sometimes called community immunity.

    02:05 This is the level of immunity required to resist a particular disease in a specific population.

    02:11 Now, in this image, we have the peach population.

    02:15 They're non-immunized but still healthy.

    02:18 The red represents those who are non-immunized, sick, and contagious.

    02:23 If herd immunity is low, meaning that few people in the community are immune, spread of disease is more likely.

    02:31 So, here, on the left, we see the majority of people in this community are healthy, but because they're not immunized, even just a few cases of infection in the community can result in high levels of community infection.

    02:44 But, also, recognize that those who are immunized and healthy, here, the green population, they remain healthy and not contagious.

    02:54 On the other hand, once a large majority of the population are vaccinated and are immune, there's less opportunity for the spread of disease.

    03:03 Herd immunity protects the unvaccinated and those with compromised immune systems from getting infection.

    03:09 As I mentioned earlier, vaccinations are one way in which people acquire active immunity.

    03:15 Vaccinations are cost-effective public health intervention that have had an incredible impact on life-expectancy in the 20th century.

    03:23 There are a wide variety of diseases that are vaccine-preventable.

    03:27 Some examples are hepatitis B, measles, influenza.

    03:32 There are also diseases such as polio that we've almost forgotten about due to the impact of vaccines.

    03:38 Most vaccines are developed using either a live organism or an inactivated form of the organism.

    03:45 Live attenuated vaccines are made from weakened virus organisms that can still replicate but are too weak to make a person ill.

    03:54 This initiates an immune response and the individual builds immunity against the virus for future exposure.

    04:01 Next, inactive vaccines, are made from viral organisms that have been inactivated by either chemicals or by heat.

    04:11 The viruses in inactivated vaccines cannot replicate, however, they initiate that immune response.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Immunity (Nursing) by Heide Cygan, DNP, RN is from the course Epidemiology (Nursing) (release in progress).


    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Herd immunity
    2. Active immunity
    3. Passive immunity
    4. Innate immunity
    1. Passive immunity
    2. Active immunity
    3. Herd immunity
    4. Vaccine-initiated immunity

    Author of lecture Immunity (Nursing)

     Heide Cygan, DNP, RN

    Heide Cygan, DNP, RN


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