Unit 9: Defense Against Microbes
This unit will discuss the major defenses we have against disease-causing microbes. With all of the microorganisms that threaten to infect and harm an individual, our bodies have evolved sophisticated defenses against these foreign invaders. However, our immune systems can still be overwhelmed; we often need the help of medication to win the battle. In this unit, we will learn about the primary human defenses against disease before discussing the generalized agents that we use outside of the human body to combat different types of microbes.
Completing this unit should take you approximately 7 hours.
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
- differentiate between non-specific and specific immunity;
- describe how vaccinations are used to control infection; and
- explain how antibiotics, antivirals, antiparasitics, and antifungals work to prevent microbial growth and infection.
9.1: Non-Specific Immunity (Skin and Mucous Membrane and Innate Immunity)
Read this chapter, which describes how the body combats the invasion of microorganisms in a non-specific manner. Non-specific mechanisms include skin and mucous membranes, as well as the innate immune response. Take advantage of the PowerPoint lecture slides as you study. Click on the icons of Figures 1 to 3 and 9 to 14 for summaries and mechanisms.
9.2: Adaptive Immunity
Read this article on how the adaptive immune system protects the body. Once you have completed the reading assignment, test your knowledge by clicking on the link, titled "Quiz Yourself on this Section," at the bottom of the page.
Study this page, and then select the "Test Yourself" link at the bottom of the page. Complete the "Antigen-specific immune response" and "White blood cell regulating production of antibodies and destruction of infected cells" problems. These are multiple-choice assessments. Choosing an option will bring you to a page with explanation. If this explanation is a "Tutorial," then read it carefully and return to the multiple-choice assessment. Be sure to complete both problems.
Complete this assessment. Select the "Self-Quiz" link to download the assessment in a PDF file and take the quiz. Click on "Answers" to see the correct answers. There is a detailed introduction to this assessment above the "Self-Quiz." Be sure to visit the "Results" section, and click on the links to study annotated figures.
Read this chapter to learn about the different types of vaccines and how they work.