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Reading Guide – Module 5 – Day 1
Most of this module will be devoted to natural and synthetic products used to treat microbial infections
Preventing infections before they ever begin is possible for an increasing number of diseases through
the process of vaccination, which is so common today that it’s easy to forget how amazing vaccines are.
Take a minute to appreciate how amazing it is that you will never have to worry about dying of polio, or
smallpox, or the measles, or cervical cancer.
Read Section 24.6 – Immunization.
What are the three type of vaccines?
Vaccines that utilize killed organisms.
Ex. Hepatitis A vaccine the Salk inactive polio vaccine.
Vaccines that contain live, but attenuated, microbes.
Ex. BCG for tuberculosis, or the Sabin live polio vaccine.
Vaccines consisting of purified components (subunits) of an infectious agent.
Ex. Capsular antigens from
Streptococcus pneumoniae
Haemophilus influenzae
type b
Define herd immunity.
Vaccination of large percentage of a community. It interrupts the transmission of the disease.
Can help protect unimmunized persons form disease transmitted person-to-person.
For which types of illnesses is herd immunity not protective?
Illnesses that are not transmitted from person-to-person. So, unvaccinated persons do not change
the risk of other people in the community to contract the disease.
Ex. Tetanus, since the agent whose toxins causes tetanus,
, is a soil
organism transmitted through punctured skin.
Define vaccination and vaccine.
Vaccination: Exposure of an individual to a weakened version of microbe or a microbial antigen to
provoke immunity and prevent development of disease upon preexposure.
Vaccine: A substance used to stimulate the production of antibodies and provide immunity against
one or several diseases, prepared from the causative agent of a disease, its products, or a synthetic
substitute, treated to act as an antigen without inducing the disease.
Is attenuated or killed material more effective for immunization, and why?
A live attenuated vaccine is better than a vaccine that uses a killed organism because when a
crippled but live organism replicate at its notmal body target side, an immune response most
appropriate to a specific site develop.
Vaccines with killed-organism do not, generally, stimulate cell-mediated immunity while live
attenuated vaccines do.
Attenuated vaccines activate CD8 T cells which are important to protect against viral infections.
Ex. Salk (killed) polio vaccine vs. Sabin (attenuate) polio vaccine
Is immunization with attenuated or killed material safer, and why?
Killed materials are safer to use because live attenuated bacteria are often toxic to use.
Which is higher: the risk of side effects from vaccination or the risk of death or complications due
to a vaccine preventable disease?
Vaccines are extremely safe to use.
The risk associated with preventable infectious diseases are far greater than the minimal risk
associated with being vaccinated against them.
For some diseases the risk of infection is lower than the risk of an adverse reaction due to

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