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Foundations in Microbiology, 4/e
Kathleen Park Talaro, Pasadena City College
Arthur Talaro

Immunization and Immune Assays

Concept Questions

Take some time to write answers to these questions. If you can answer them, you have a good grasp of the material!

1. Name three products used in passive artificial immunization. What are the primary reasons for using these substances? What are some disadvantages of this form of immunization? What is the difference between immunization used for prophylaxis and that used for treatment?

2. Outline the strategies for developing vaccines, and give specific examples for each method. By what means are microorganisms attenuated? What is the purpose of an adjuvant? Describe the way that a Trojan horse vaccine works.

3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of a killed vaccine; a live, attenuated vaccine; a subunit vaccine; a recombinant vaccine; and a DNA vaccine? Use an outline to explain how an inoculation with tetanus toxoid will protect a person the next time he or she steps on a dirty piece of glass.

4. Describe the concept of herd immunity. How does vaccination contribute to its development in a community? Give some possible explanations for the recent epidemics of diphtheria and whooping cough.

5. What is the basis of serology and serological testing? Differentiate between specificity and sensitivity. Describe several general ways that Ag-Ab reactions are detected.

6. What does seropositivity mean? In what ways is the antibody titer of serum important? What causes false positive tests?

7. Explain how agglutination and precipitation reactions are alike. In what ways are they different? Make a drawing of the manner in which antibodies cross-link the antigens in agglutination and precipitation reactions. Give examples of several tests that employ the two reactions.

8. What is meant by complement fixation? What are cytolysins? What is the purpose of using sheep red blood cells in this test?

9. Explain the differences between direct and indirect procedures in serological or immunoassay tests. How is fluorescence detected? How is the reaction in a radioimmunoassay detected? How does a positive reaction in an ELISA test appear?

10. Briefly describe the principles and give an example of the use of a specific test using immunoelectrophoresis, Western blot, complement fixation, fluorescence testing (direct and indirect), and immunoassays (direct and indirect ELISA). Explain a rapid microscopic method for differentiating T cells from B cells.