Persistence of Passive Immunity, Natural Immunity (and Vaccination)

Authored by: Amy K. Winter , C. Jessica E. Metcalf

Handbook of Infectious Disease Data Analysis

Print publication date:  November  2019
Online publication date:  November  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138626713
eBook ISBN: 9781315222912
Adobe ISBN:


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Infection with many pathogens leaves hosts protected from subsequent infection by the same pathogen. This protection is rooted in a response of the adaptive immune system, and may last from a few years (for antigenically variable pathogens, like influenza) to lifelong protection, also called sterilizing immunity (for many childhood infections such as measles). Understanding the dynamics of immunity, and thus susceptibility, is essential because infection can spread only if there is contact between an infected individual and a susceptible individual. Knowledge of susceptibility thus defines outbreak risk, but also can identify timing and targets for vaccination, a source of immunity.

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