Vaccine

related topics
{disease, patient, cell}
{specie, animal, plant}
{law, state, case}
{style, bgcolor, rowspan}


A vaccine is a biological preparation that improves immunity to a particular disease. A vaccine typically contains an agent that resembles a disease-causing microorganism, and is often made from weakened or killed forms of the microbe or its toxins. The agent stimulates the body's immune system to recognize the agent as foreign, destroy it, and "remember" it, so that the immune system can more easily recognize and destroy any of these microorganisms that it later encounters.

Vaccines can be prophylactic (e.g. to prevent or ameliorate the effects of a future infection by any natural or "wild" pathogen), or therapeutic (e.g. vaccines against cancer are also being investigated; see cancer vaccine).

The term vaccine derives from Edward Jenner's 1796 use of the term cow pox (Latin variolæ vaccinæ, adapted from the Latin vaccīn-us, from vacca cow), which, when administered to humans, provided them protection against smallpox.

Contents

Full article ▸

related documents
Zoonosis
Streptococcus
Anorexia (symptom)
Dilation and curettage
Fatal familial insomnia
Hunger
Prune belly syndrome
Skene's gland
Psychiatrist
Hematology
Vermiform appendix
Cowpox
Lumbar disc disease
Kwashiorkor
Tremor
Pharynx
Epidemic
Ileum
Grey matter
Pathogen
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
Ampicillin
Scarlet fever
Creatinine
General paresis of the insane
Proteinuria
Meconium
Blood vessel
Antiseptic
Neural Darwinism