There are many strategies when it comes to developing a vaccine, but the idea behind all of them is similar. Vaccines are designed to pose a foreign invader, such as a virus or bacterium, to your adaptive immune system without causing you to be sick. Our immune systems are quite amazing, which also makes them quite complex. Here, we will focus only on a few aspects that are important for understanding vaccine development…
Vaccines remain a hot topic in this country, especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To understand the importance of why we should be vaccinated, we first must understand how the immune system responds to an infection. When a disease-causing microorganism, called a pathogen, is introduced into our bodies, our immune system is signaled to initiate an attack on this intruder. Specifically, our immune system will try to stop the pathogen from multiplying, which will prevent the pathogen from spreading and decrease the infection.
Viral infections are the cause of many common illnesses, such as the flu and the common cold. The symptoms aren’t pleasant, and typically involve the well-known repertoire of coughing, sneezing, and achiness. But sometimes, symptoms from viral infections can be more severe. Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) infects most people before their second birthday. In many… Read more »
Zika. Ebola. SARS. Each of these different diseases have been extensively covered by the media and have sparked widespread concern about disease prevention globally. This concern over disease prevention has hit even closer to home with the mumps outbreak at IU this past spring. With this recent outbreak, there has been a push to minimize… Read more »