Quiz 7: Antibiotics, Antifungals, and Antivirals


Pathogens can cause infection, which leads to diseases. Sometimes, the immune system creates resistance to infection and protects the body from getting an infection. There are two parts to the immune system. They are the internal immune system and the external immune system. The external immune system protects the body from getting an infection from the surroundings. The skin plays the main role in the external immune system of the body. It is a hard layer, which protects the body from micro-organism. If any damage occurs to any part of the skin, micro-organism can enter the body and can cause an infection. The internal immune systems consist of microscopic substances, such as neutrophils, white blood cells. The white blood cells are also known as leukocytes. If any micro-organism can enter the body, it causes infection. Neutrophils are part of white blood cells. It has a significant role in the internal immune system of the body. By sensing the infection, it surrounds the area and starts to kill the organism. The white blood cells have a significant role in securing the immunity of the body. It creates antibodies. These antibodies help in fighting infections. They destroy or kill the microbes, which are causing infections in the body.

Antibodies are glyoproteins that are produced by the plasma cells of the immune system in response to an antigenic stimulus. Antibodies are part of acquired/humoral immune response. Antibodies are specific to their antigens, that is, the body produces antibodies against an antigen when it is challenged by the antigen. Antibodies have several functions. They bind to an antigen or a microbe and either inactivate them or promote phagocytosis (opsonization). Antibody producing cells (plasma cells) keep immunological memory. When a same antigen enters for the second time into the body, the memory cells quickly respond and produce antibodies against it. The basic structure of an antibody is composed of four polypeptide chains; two heavy chains and two light chains. Each light chain is attached to a heavy chain and the two heavy chains are linked through disulphide bridges. An antibody has two functional regions called fragment antigen binding (F ab ) and fragment crystalline (F c ). The F ab region binds to the antigens. It has regions called complementarity determining regions (CDR) which are the actual regions that bind to the antigen. These regions are also called paratopes of the antibody. The rest of the antibody structure provides a 3-dimentional framework to project these CDR in proper orientation.

Communicable diseases can spread from one person to another person. Microorganisms or pathogens are responsible for spreading diseases. The pathogens are bacteria, fungi, protozoa, viruses, etc. During infection, the pathogens reproduce and multiply, which leads to diseases. In a hospital or long term facility care, most patients are admitted due to some severe health issues. Several patients are staying together with different types of diseases. Unhealthy persons are always at risk of getting new infections. Their immune systems become very weak. Patients with surgical wounds also are prone to get infections. The self-defense mechanism of the body becomes weak. Their skin may become thin. They are unable to maintain hygiene. These factors make them prone to get or develop any infection. A nosocomial infection that occurs in a hospital setting can spread rapidly if the hospital staff does not follow the pathogen-free technique for caring patients. Therefore, the hospitalized patients are also at danger to an infection, staphylococcal.

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