Lectures

Practicals in Immunology No.6: Methods used in Transplantation Immunology (HLA-Typing)

Author: Ivana Shawkatová

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Presentation provides basic information on the HLA-complex and transplantation immunology, with focus on kidney and haematopoetic stem cell transplantations. Most important HLA-typing methods are explained as well as other techniques used in donor-recipient pair selection.           

Serological methods I

Author: Vladimíra Ďurmanová

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Serological methods are basic diagnostic methods used to identify antibodies and antigens in patient sample (serum, plasma). Agglutination and precipitation belong to classical serological methods that are used in diagnosis of infectious diseases (antibodies screening), serotyping of microorganisms and human blood group typing. Agglutination is based on reaction of particular (insoluble) antigen with antibodies, whereas precipitation involves reaction of colloidal (soluble) antigen and antibodies. In the immunodiagnostics an agglutination method as Coombs test is used to determine anti Rh antibodies in pregnant women (diagnosis of hemolytic disease of newborn). Another agglutination method involves latex agglutination that is used to determine, i.e. rheumatoid factor (diagnosis of autoimmune diseases) and hemagglutination method that can be used in, i.e. antibodies screening against Treponema pallidum, the main cause of syphilis. Radial immunodiffusion assay belongs to the precipitation method. This quantitative assay is based on immunodiffusion of antigens and antibodies in the gel and can be used in level analysis of complement components (C3, C4), inflammation proteins (CRP) and immunoglobulins (IgG, IgM and IgA). Modern precipitation methods performed in fluid involve nephelometry and turbidimetry.

Hypersensitivity reactions, types II till V

Author: Milan Buc

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A principal biological role of the immune system is an eradication of both external as well internal violators of integrity of the organism. External „enemies“ are represented mainly by germs; those of internal origin belong especially to potentially malignant cells that appear in our organisms as the results of a breakdown of their replication mechanisms.Under certain circumstances, however, the immune response can have deleterious effects, resulting in significant tissue damage or even death. This inappropriate immune response is termed hypersensitivity. Although the word hypersensitivity implies an increased response, the response is not always heightened but may, instead, be an inappropriate immune response to an antigen.
Several forms of hypersensitive reaction can be distinguished, reflecting differences in the effector molecules generated in the course of the reaction. In immediate hypersensitive reactions different antibody isotypes induce different immune effector molecules. IgE antibodies, for example, induce mast cell degranulation with release of histamine and other biologically active molecules. IgG and IgM antibodies, on the other hand, induce hypersensitive reactions by activating complement. The effector molecules in these reactions are the membrane-attack complex and such complement split products as C3a, C4a and C5a. In delayed-type hypersensitivity reactions, the effector molecules are various cytokines secreted by T helper cells and macrophages. As it became clear that different immune mechanisms can give rise to hypersensitive reactions, P. G. H. Gell and R. R. A. Coombs proposed a classification scheme in which hypersensitive reactions are divided into four types, I, II, III, and IV, each involving distinct mechanisms; later type V was added. Antibodies mediate four types of hypersensitive reactions: IgE-mediated (type I), cytotoxic (type II), immune complex (type III), and stimulatory/inhibitory (type V) hypersensitivity, respectively. T cells initiate the last type of hypersensitivity (type IV) and clinical symptoms appear more days after exposure; it is therefore referred to as delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH). However, a great deal of com¬plexity exists within each type of reactions that blurs the boundaries between them.
 

Autoimmunity and autoimmune disease

Author: Milan Buc

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The principal role of the immune system is to protect the organism from principally two the most dangerous events potentially threatening our life, i.e. infection and malignancy. However, sometimes the immune system instead of reacting against foreign and aberrant self-antigens can attack self-molecules. This inappropriate response of the immune system against self-components is termed autoimmunity.
There are 70 - 80 autoimmune disorders known till now and app. 5% of Caucasoid population suffers from them. Our understanding of autoimmunity has improved greatly during the last two decades, mainly because of the development of a variety of animal models of these diseases and the identification of genes that may predispose to autoimmunity. Nevertheless, the aetiology of most human autoimmune diseases remains still obscure.
The term “autoimmunity” is often erroneously used for a disease in which immune reactions accompany tissue injury; they are “a by-product” of a release of self-antigens to circulation without causing any damage; moreover, these “autoimmune reactions” help to degrade them and to remove them from the body.

Foeto-maternal relationships. The immune system of newborns

Author: Milan Buc

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A success of pregnancy depends on a proper implantation and induction of immune tolerance. The immune system secures it by various mechanisms – special cells, cytokines, HLA molecules, peripheral tolerance take part in.

The immune system of the newborn has also its own specifics as it matures relatively long time till it reaches the same protective ability as characteristic for adults.

Immunodeficiencies. AIDS

Author: Milan Buc

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The lecture deals with primary and secondary immunodefeciencies. It gives an overview on general clinical manifestations and their divisions according to the type of the immune functions defects. Must of the lecture devotes to AIDS.     

Type I hypersensitivity (Allergy)

Author: Milan Buc

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Type I hypersensitivity belongs to the most common disorder mediated by immune reactions; it affects app. more than 30% of all individuals in Caucasoid population. Type I hypersensitivity is commonly called allergy. It is characterised by rapid onset (hence the term immediate hypersensitivity), within minutes of antigen challenge, and results in conspicuous clinical symptoms.

Some aspects of the epidemiology and prognosis of zoonotic toxocarosis

Author: Miroslav Mikulecký, Miroslav Mikulecký ml., P. Dubinský, P. Ondrejka, A. Štefančíková

Incidence of toxocarosis in Slovakia 1977-1990 showed an exponential increase with an accessory cycling, having 7-8 years period length.                                                 

Half century of leptospiroses in Slovakia and the solar spots

Author: Miroslav Mikulecký

Annual incidence rates of 3157 cases of leptospiroses recorded within 1949 and 2004, caused by the main serovars ificant or borderly significant periodicities, resembling those known from solar and geomagnetic activity, were identified. By comparing them with the time course of Wolf numbers, an almost exact reciprocity of maxima and minima of Wolf numbers and leptospiroses was disclosed. It is hypothetized that the epizoonotic character of these diseases supports the putative dependence of its manifestation upon the nature including the sun. Surprisingly, no similar results were found, so far, in the world scientific registers.

Solar activity, revolutions and cultural prime in the history of mankind

Author: Miroslav Mikulecký

Russian scientist Tchijevskij investigated almost 100 years ago (suggested for Nobel prize) relationships between solar activity, cycling with the period around 11 years, and the status of mankind. He found „social excitation“, as revolutions and wars, at the time of solar maxima and peaceful activities like flourishing of arts at minima.The present paper explores whether such a parallelism applies also to the 500 years´ (semimillenial) cycling of solar activity. The present author obtained, using the cosinor analysis, significant positive anwer. It is hypothesized that one of the responsible factors could be solar impact on geomagnetic field.