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Immunology Vocabu

Vocabulary for Immuno

Accuracy Degree of conformity of a measurement to a true value.
Active Immunity The form of immunity produced by the body in response to stimulation by a disease-causing organism (naturally acquired active immunity) or by vaccination (artificially aquired active immunity).
Acute-phase proteins A group of glycoproteins associated with nonspecific inflamation of body tissues. Also called acute-phase reactants.
Adaptive immunity The augmentation of body defense mechanisms in response to a specific stimulus, which can cause the elimination of microorganisms and recovery from disease. This response frequently leaves the host with specific memory (aquired resistance), which enables
Affinity Propensity; the bond between a single anitgenic determinant and an individual combining site.
Antibody Specific glycoproteins (immunoglobulins) produced in response to an antigenic challenge. Antibodies can be found in blood plasma and body fluids (e.g., tears, saliva, milk). These serum globulins have a wide range of specificities for different antigens
Antigen (Immunogen) A foreign substance that can stimulate the production of antibodies (immune response).
Avidity Strength with which a multivalent antibody binds to a multivalent antigen.
Bruton’s X-linked Agammaglobulinemia An inherited form, transmitted to males through the X chromosome, in which B cells fail to mature and to secrete immunoglobulins.
Ceruloplasmin Often measured as copper in the blood.
Chediak-Higashi Syndrome A rare inherited autosomal recessive trait characterized by the presence of large granules and inclusion bodies in the cytoplasm of leukocytes.
Chemotaxis Release of substances that attract phagocytic cells as the result of traumatic or microbial damage.
Chronic granulomatous disease An inherited disorder in which immune system cells called phagocytes do not function properly. This leads to ongoing infection.
Coefficient of variation A statistical quality control calculation of variation from the average (mean).
Complement A group of soluble blood proteins (enzymes) consisting of C1-C9. It is present in the blood and can produce inflammatory effects and lysis of cells when activated.
Confidence limits Statistical standard deviations from a mean. Interval estimates are often desirable because the estimate of the mean varies from sample to sample.
Cross-reactivity A condition in which some of the determinants of an antigen are shared by similar antigenic determinants on the surface of apparently unrelated molecules and a proportion of these antigens interact with the other kind of antigen.
Cytokines Polypeptide products of activated cells (lymphocytes or macrophages) that control a variety of cellular responses and thereby regulate the immune system.
Cytolysis Rupture of a cell membrane with release of the cellular cytoplasm.
Diapedesis Ameboid movement of cells such as monocytes and polymorphonuclear neutrophils to a site of inflammation in phagocytosis.
DiGeorge’s syndrome An immunodeficiency disease resulting from a failure of the parathyroid and thymus glands to develop before birth.
Epitope A single antigenic determinant. It is functionally the portion of an antigen that combines with an antibody paratope, the part of the antibody molecule that makes contact with the antigenic determinant.
Haptens Very small molecule that can bind to a larger carrier molecule and behave as an antigen.
Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) Antigens on the surface of cells that identify the cells as belonging to the specific body, rather than being foreign substances.
Immediate Hypersensitivity A subset of the body's antibody-mediated mechanisms.
Immune response The reaction of the immune system to foreign antigens in the body.
Immunity The process of being protected against foreign antigens.
Immunocompetent The ablilty to mount animmune response; a host able to recognize a foreign antigen and build specific antigen-directed antibodies. The term specifically refers to lymphocytes that acquire thymus-dependent characteristics, which allow them to function in
Immunologists Specailists in immunology.
Immunology The study of molecules, cells, organs, and systems responsible for recognition and disposal of nonself materials and how they work, or can be manipulated. All aspects of body defenses, such as anitgens and antibodies, allergy, and hypersensitivity are i
Interleukins Any of various compounds of low molecular weight that are produced by lymphocytes, macrophages, and monocytes and that function especially in regulation of the immune system and especially cell-mediated immunity.
Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) A geneitic region in humans and other mammals responsible for signaling between lymphocytes and antigen-bearing cells. It is also the major determinant of transplant compatability (or rejection).
Memory cells Long-lived T or B lymphocytes that have been stimulated by a specific antigen and recall prior antigen exposure.
Opsonization When the complement component C3b is attached to a particle, it promotes the adherance of phagocytic cells because of the C3 receptors. Antibody, if present, augments this by binding to Fc receptors.
Passive Immunity Immunity protection resulting from the transfer of antibodies from another individual who has actively formed antbodies; an example of such transfer is from a mother to her unborn child.
Plasma The straw-colored fluid component of blood in circulating or anticoagulated blood.
Plasma cells A few mature plasma cells can be found in the bone marrow, but they are not normally seen in the circulating blood.
Precision Also called reproducablility or repeatability, the degree to which further measurements or analysis produces the same or very similar results.
Proficiency testing A comparison of in-house laboratory assay results with results from external laboratories. A valuable continuous improvement (quality assurance) tool.
Progenitor cells Precurser (immature) blood cells.
Quality Assurance Planned or systematic actions necessary to provide confidence that a laboratory assay result will satisfy the given requirments for quality.
Reference range This term was previously referred to as normal values; typical laboratory results for specific for specific groups of patients such as gender- or age- related average values.
Sensitivity The frequency of positive results obtained in the testing of a population of individuals who are truly positive for antibody.
Specificity 1. Ability of a particular antibody to combine with one antigen instead of another. 2. The proportion of negative test results obtained in the population of individuals who actually lack the antibody in question.
Standard Deviation A statistic that tells you how tighly all the various examples are clustered around the mean in a set of data. When examples are pretty tighly bunched together and the bell-shaped curve is steep, the standard deviation is small. When the examples are spe
Thymus A primary or central lymphoid tissue responsible for processes of lymphocytes into the T type of cell. This ductless, glandlike structure is located beneath the sternum (breastbone).
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