11.1  Antibody Production and Vaccination

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Essential Idea:

Immunity is based on recognition of self

and destruction of foreign materials


  • Every organism has unique molecules on the surface of its cells
  • Pathogens can be species-specific although others can cross species barriers
  • B lymphocytes are activated by T lymphocytes in mammals
  • Activated B cells multiply to form clones of plasma cells and memory cells
  • Plasma cells secrete antibodies
  • Antibodies aid the destruction of pathogens
  • White blood cells release histamine in response to allergens
  • Histamine causes allergic symptoms
  • Immunity depends on the persistance of memory cells
  • Vaccines contain antigens that trigger immunity but do not cause the disease
  • Fusion of a tumor cell with an antibody-producing cell creates a hybridoma cell
  • Monoclonal antibodies are produced by hybridoma cells


  • Smallpox was the first infectious disease of humans to have been eradicated by vaccination
  • Monoclonal antibodies to hCG are used in pregnancy test kits
  • Antigens on the surface of red blood cells stimulate antibody production in a person with a different blood group


  • Analysis of epidemiological data related to vaccination programmes