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Immunology is the study of the immune system or the body's immune system and various forms of immune system disorders. This science is now experiencing a fairly rapid development because more and more he alth problems arise due to disorders of the immune system
Developments in the medical world have made immunology increasingly under the spotlight, especially in handling a number of he alth problems. Many researches related to immunology have started to be carried out, such as the use of immunotherapy, prevention of autoimmune diseases, and the development of vaccines for various diseases, such as the Ebola vaccine.
The Role of Immunology for Human He alth
An immunological study tries to find a number of diseases caused by a disorder or dysfunction of the immune system. This research also seeks to find the latest therapies and treatments to cure diseases related to immunity.
Several types of diseases related to immune system dysfunction that can be treated with an immunological approach are:
Allergies are reactions of the immune system to certain substances or objects that are considered dangerous. People who suffer from allergies will experience symptoms when in contact with allergy triggers (allergens). Symptoms of an allergic reaction can include sneezing, itchy skin rash, and shortness of breath.
Allergies can be prevented by avoiding the triggering substance. If there are complaints, allergies can be overcome by taking certain drugs. However, with the development of immunology, allergic reactions can be alleviated with allergen immunotherapy.
Allergen immunotherapy is an allergy treatment that works by "training" the immune system to be more immune to allergens. After being given immunotherapy, patients can experience a reduction in the frequency of allergic attacks, although some of them experience a relapse after therapy is stopped.
Asthma is a reaction of the immune system that causes inflammation of the airways when exposed to certain substances or substances. This inflammation causes the airways to narrow, which then triggers shortness of breath.
Asthma can be treated in various ways, including avoiding asthma triggers, using asthma medication when an asthma attack occurs, and undergoing immunotherapy.
Immunotherapy used for asthma works like allergy immunotherapy, which "trains" the immune system to be more immune to allergy-triggering substances. This immunotherapy will reduce the complaints that arise when asthma occurs and prevent asthma worsening.
Cancer causes uncontrolled growth of cells in the body. This uncontrolled growth will damage the organs and systems in the body, thus threatening the life of the sufferer.
Cancer can be overcome in various ways, and one of them is by utilizing immunology, namely cancer immunotherapy. Cancer immunotherapy is done to stimulate the immune system to fight cancer cells. Cancer immunotherapy is claimed to be able to slow down, stop the growth of cancer cells, and prevent the spread of cancer cells to other organs.
4. Autoimmune disease
Autoimmune disease occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks he althy cells in the body. Some examples of autoimmune diseases are Crohn's disease, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis.
Autoimmune diseases cannot be cured, and there is no truly effective immunotherapy option to treat them.However, autoimmune diseases can be controlled with certain medications, such as immunosuppressant drugs. Immunosuppressant drugs are able to suppress and reduce the number of immune cells that attack he althy cells.
To detect problems or disorders in the immune system, immunological examinations or immunological tests are needed. Several types of checks were carried out, including:
An antibody test is performed by taking a blood or saliva sample. In some cases, this test can determine the diagnosis of certain diseases. If the antibody test for a disease gives a positive result, it means that the person is currently suffering from the disease. Antibody tests are generally performed to diagnose infectious and autoimmune diseases.
Antigen is part of a virus or bacteria that can trigger an immune response. One of the common antigen tests is the examination of stool samples to determine the presence or absence of antigens produced by the bacterium Heliobacter pylori that causes stomach ulcers.
An antigen test can also be done using a blood sample, for example to detect antigens from the HIV virus. This antigen test is one of the most frequently used tests to diagnose HIV.
In Indonesia, immunology is a branch of internal medicine. Those of you who have disorders of the immune system can consult an internal medicine doctor to find out the cause and get the right treatment.