CORPORATE IMMUNOLOGY: Immunology & Epidemiology References

Immunology & Epidemiology Wiki

  • A general knowledge on epidemiology and immunology is necessary for the understanding of the articles and presentations on CORPORATE IMMUNOLOGY.
  • The following quotes have been collected for purpose of making for the reader an easy access to some terms, guidelines and information related to Immunology and Epidemiology.
  • The reader, for further studies should refer to scientific and academic publications related to both main topics.
  • The references for the following quotes are easily accessible for readers through wikipedia list of references, undertitle : “Bibliography” under the terms: Immunology, Epidemiology , Disease, Pathogen, Pathology,  related terms and their respective references.

  • Immunology is a branch of biology that covers the study of immune systems in all organisms.
  • Ecoimmunology, or ecological immunology, explores the relationship between the immune system of an organism and its social, biotic and abiotic environment.
  • Immunodeficiency, in which parts of the immune system fail to provide an adequate response
  • Autoimmunity, in which the immune system attacks its own host’s body (examples include systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s disease and myasthenia gravis).
  • Epidemiology is sometimes viewed as a collection of statistical tools used to elucidate the associations of exposures to health outcomes, a deeper understanding of this science is that of discovering causal relationships.
  • “Correlation does not imply causation”.
  • Epidemiologists employ a range of study designs from the observational to experimental and generally categorized as descriptive, analytic (aiming to further examine known associations or hypothesized relationships), and experimental (a term often equated with clinical or community trials of treatments and other interventions)
  • Molecular pathological epidemiology (MPE, also molecular pathologic epidemiology) is a discipline combining epidemiology and pathology. It is defined as “epidemiology of molecular pathology and heterogeneity of disease”. Pathology and epidemiology share the same goal of elucidating etiology of disease, and MPE aims to achieve this goal at molecular, individual and population levels.
  • The body’s capability to react to antigen depends on a person’s age, antigen type, maternal factors and the area where the antigen is presented
  • Epidemiology, literally meaning “the study of what is upon the people”, is derived from Greek epi, meaning ‘upon, among’, demos, meaning ‘people, district’, and logos, meaning ‘study, word, discourse’, suggesting that it applies only to human populations. However, the term is widely used in studies of zoological populations (veterinary epidemiology), although the term “epizoology” is available, and it has also been applied to studies of plant populations (botanical or plant disease epidemiology).
  • The distinction between “epidemic” and “endemic” was first drawn by Hippocrates, to distinguish between diseases that are “visited upon” a population (epidemic) from those that “reside within” a population (endemic).
  • Epidemiologists also study the interaction of diseases in a population, a condition known as a syndemic.
  • The term epidemiology is now widely applied to cover the description and causation of not only epidemic disease, but of disease in general, and even many non-disease, health-related conditions, such as high blood pressure and obesity. Therefore, this epidemiology is based upon how the pattern of the disease cause changes in the function of everyone.
  • Koch’s postulates  are four criteria designed to establish a causative relationship between a microbe and a disease. [  The microorganism must be found in abundance in all organisms suffering from the disease, but should not be found in healthy organisms. The microorganism must be isolated from a diseased organism and grown in pure culture. The cultured microorganism should cause disease when introduced into a healthy organism. The microorganism must be re-isolated from the inoculated, diseased experimental host and identified as being identical to the original specific causative agent. ]
  • Clinical epidemiology.  the application of the science of epidemiology in a clinical setting. Emphasis is on a medically defined population, as opposed to statistically formulated disease trends derived from examination of larger population categories.
  • Immunology charts, measures, and contextualizes the: physiological functioning of the immune system in states of both health and diseases; malfunctions of the immune system in immunological disorders (such as autoimmune diseases, hypersensitivities, immune deficiency, and transplant rejection); the physical, chemical and physiological characteristics of the components of the immune system in vitro, in situ, and in vivo.
  • Immunology has applications in numerous disciplines of medicine, particularly in the fields of organ transplantation, oncology, virology, bacteriology, parasitology, psychiatry, and dermatology.
  • Prior to the designation of immunity from the etymological root immunis, which is Latin for “exempt”; early physicians characterized organs that would later be proven as essential components of the immune system.
  • The important lymphoid organs of the immune system are the thymus and bone marrow, and chief lymphatic tissues such as spleen, tonsils, lymph vessels, lymph nodes, adenoids, and liver.
  • When health conditions worsen to emergency status, portions of immune system organs including the thymus, spleen, bone marrow, lymph nodes and other lymphatic tissues can be surgically excised for examination while patients are still alive.
  • Many components of the immune system are typically cellular in nature and not associated with any specific organ; but rather are embedded or circulating in various tissues located throughout the body.
  • Clinical immunology is the study of diseases caused by disorders of the immune system (failure, aberrant action, and malignant growth of the cellular elements of the system). It also involves diseases of other systems, where immune reactions play a part in the pathology and clinical features.
  • Classical immunology ties in with the fields of epidemiology and medicine. It studies the relationship between the body systems, pathogens, and immunity.
  • The body’s capability to react to antigen depends on a person’s age, antigen type, maternal factors and the area where the antigen is presented.Neonates are said to be in a state of physiological immunodeficiency, because both their innate and adaptive immunological responses are greatly suppressed.
  • The use of immune system components to treat a disease or disorder is known as immunotherapy.
  • Immunology is strongly experimental in everyday practice but is also characterized by an ongoing theoretical attitude. Many theories have been suggested in immunology from the end of the nineteenth century up to the present time. The end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century saw a battle between “cellular” and “humoral” theories of immunity.
  • Epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants of health–related states or events in specified populations, and the application of this study to the control of health problems.
  • Immunology charts, measures, and contextualizes the: physiological functioning of the immune system in states of both health and diseases; malfunctions of the immune system in immunological disorders (such as autoimmune diseases, hypersensitivities, immune deficiency, and transplant rejection); the physical, chemical and physiological characteristics of the components of the immune system in vitro, in situ, and in vivo. Immunology has applications in numerous disciplines of medicine, particularly in the fields of organ transplantation, oncology, virology, bacteriology, parasitology, psychiatry, and dermatology.
  • Prior to the designation of immunity from the etymological root immunis, which is Latin for “exempt”; early physicians characterized organs that would later be proven as essential components of the immune system. The important lymphoid organs of the immune system are the thymus and bone marrow, and chief lymphatic tissues such as spleen, tonsils, lymph vessels, lymph nodes, adenoids, and liver.
  • When health conditions worsen to emergency status, portions of immune system organs including the thymus, spleen, bone marrow, lymph nodes and other lymphatic tissues can be surgically excised for examination while patients are still alive.
  • Many components of the immune system are typically cellular in nature and not associated with any specific organ; but rather are embedded or circulating in various tissues located throughout the body.
  • General Outline of the process of an epidemiological study1. Establish that a problem exists
    2. Confirm the homogeneity of the events
    3. Collect all the events
    4. Characterize the events as to epidemiological factors
    4.1 Predisposing factors
    4.2 Enabling/disabling factors
    4.3 Precipitation factors
    4.4 Reinforcing factors
    5. Look for patterns and trends
    6. Formulate a hypothesis
    7. Test the hypothesis
    8.Publish the results
  • In 1965, Austin Bradford Hill proposed a series of considerations to help assess evidence of causation, which have come to be commonly known as the “Bradford Hill criteria”. In contrast to the explicit intentions of their author, Hill’s considerations are now sometimes taught as a checklist to be implemented for assessing causality. Hill himself said “None of my nine viewpoints can bring indisputable evidence for or against the cause-and-effect hypothesis and none can be required sine qua non.”1. Strength of Association: A small association does not mean that there is not a causal effect, though the larger the association, the more likely that it is causal.2. Consistency of Data: Consistent findings observed by different persons in different places with different samples strengthens the likelihood of an effect.3.Specificity: Causation is likely if a very specific population at a specific site and disease with no other likely explanation. The more specific an association between a factor and an effect is, the bigger the probability of a causal relationship.4.Temporality: The effect has to occur after the cause (and if there is an expected delay between the cause and expected effect, then the effect must occur after that delay).5. Biological gradient: Greater exposure should generally lead to greater incidence of the effect. However, in some cases, the mere presence of the factor can trigger the effect. In other cases, an inverse proportion is observed: greater exposure leads to lower incidence.6.Plausibility: A plausible mechanism between cause and effect is helpful (but Hill noted that knowledge of the mechanism is limited by current knowledge).7.Coherence: Coherence between epidemiological and laboratory findings increases the likelihood of an effect. However, Hill noted that “… lack of such [laboratory] evidence cannot nullify the epidemiological effect on associations”.

    8. Experiment: “Occasionally it is possible to appeal to experimental evidence”.

    9.Analogy: The effect of similar factors may be considered.

  • A disease is a particular abnormal condition that affects part or all of an organism not caused by external force (see ‘injury’) and that consists of a disorder of a structure or function, usually serving as an evolutionary disadvantage.
  • The study of disease is called pathology, which includes the study of cause. Disease is often construed as a medical conditionassociated with specific symptoms and signs.It may be caused by external factors such as pathogens or by internal dysfunctions, particularly of the immune system, such as an immunodeficiency, or by a hypersensitivity, including allergies and autoimmunity.
  • When caused by pathogens (e.g. malaria by Plasmodium ssp.), the term disease is often misleadingly used even in the scientific literature in place of its causal agent, the pathogen. This language habit can cause confusion in the communication of the cause-effect principle in epidemiology, and as such it should be strongly discouraged.
  • In humans, disease is often used more broadly to refer to any condition that causes pain, dysfunction, distress, social problems, or death to the person afflicted, or similar problems for those in contact with the person.
  • In this broader sense, it sometimes includes injuries, disabilities, disorders, syndromes, infections, isolated symptoms, deviant behaviors, and atypical variations of structure and function, while in other contexts and for other purposes these may be considered distinguishable categories.
  • Diseases can affect people not only physically, but also emotionally, as contracting and living with a disease can alter the affected person’s perspective on life.
  • Death due to disease is called death by natural causes. There are four main types of disease: infectious diseases, deficiency diseases, genetic diseases (both hereditary and non-hereditary), and physiological diseases.
  • Diseases can also be classified as communicableand non-communicable.
  • The deadliest diseases in humans are coronary artery disease (blood flow obstruction), followed by cerebrovascular disease and lower respiratory infections.
  • In biology, a pathogen (Greek: πάθος pathos “suffering, passion” and -γενής -genēs “producer of”) or a germ in the oldest and broadest sense is anything that can produce disease; the term came into use in the 1880s.Typically the term is used to describe an infectious agent such as a virus, bacterium, protozoa, prion, a fungus, or other micro-organism. The scientific study of pathogens is called Pathology.
  • There are several substrates including pathways where the pathogens can invade a host. The principal pathways have different episodic time frames, but soil contamination has the longest or most persistent potential for harboring a pathogen. Diseases caused by organisms in humans are known as pathogenic diseases.
  • Pathology (from the Greek roots of pathos (πάθος), meaning “experience” or “suffering” whence the English word “path” is derived by transliteration, and -logia (-λογία), “study of”) is a significant component of the causal study of pathogens and a major field in modern medicine and diagnosis. Hence, ‘the study of paths’, by which disease comes.
  • The term pathology itself may be used broadly to refer to the study of disease in general, incorporating a wide range of bioscience research fields and medical practices (including plant pathology and veterinary pathology), or more narrowly to describe work within the contemporary medical field of “general pathology,” which includes a number of distinct but inter-related medical specialties that diagnose disease—mostly through analysis of tissue, cell, and body fluid samples.
  • As a field of general inquiry and research, pathology addresses four components of disease: cause, mechanisms of development (pathogenesis), structural alterations of cells (morphologic changes), and the consequences of changes (clinical manifestations).
  • In common medical practice, general pathology is mostly concerned with analyzing known clinical abnormalities that are markers or precursors for both infectious and non-infectious disease and is conducted by experts in one of two major specialties, anatomical pathology and clinical pathology.
  • Further divisions in specialty exist on the basis of the involved sample types (comparing, for example, cytopathology, hematopathology, and histopathology), organs (as in renal pathology), and physiological systems (oral pathology), as well as on the basis of the focus of the examination (as with forensic pathology).