Sunday, July 29, 2012

History of Immunology

The discipline of immunology grew out of the observation that individuals who had recovered from certain infectious disease were there after protect from the disease.

The Latin worlds immunitas and immunis have their origin on the legal concept of an exemption. Initially in ancient Rome they disrobed the exemption of an individual from service or duty.

In 1885, Louis Pasteur administered the first vaccine to a human, a young body, who had bitten repeatedly by a rabid dog. Louis Pasteur is often describe as the father of immunology, but vaccination was practiced long before his lifetime at a time when nothing was known of the disease causing organism.

In 1890, German physician Emil Adolph von Behring discovered antibodies through his pioneering research on immunization against diphtheria and tetanus by injecting what he term ‘antitoxins’.

Emil von Behring and Paul Erlich may be considered as found fathers of the adapted immunity although their works were restricted to the humoral (antibody-mediated) immune response.

According to history a primitive form of smallpox vaccination was used in China from tenth century. It was also used in the thirteenth century in Egypt. During 1600s Turkey already practiced variolation, where people were inoculated by scratching the skin with smallpox taken from pustules of infected people.

In 430 BC Thucydides, the greatest historian of Peloponnesian wrote that only those who had recovered from the plaque could nurse the sick because they would nor contract the disease a second time. He referred the plaque of smallpox that swept Greece after the Peloponnesian War.

In 1798 English physician Edward Jenner has published his important memoir on the use of cowpox material to protect human beings from smallpox. However immunology became a true science only in the 19th century in the mind and the work of Louis Pasteur.
History of Immunology
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