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All About Antibodies

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ERV familiarizes us with the different “layers” of the immune system, including intrinsic, innate, and adaptive immunity. The last layer makes specific antibodies to recognize pathogens, but in the case of HIV, capable antibodies aren’t enough to stave off the progression of disease. ERV writes, “HIV-1 evolves to escape these antibodies…and your body can’t catch up.” The high mutability of HIV-1 makes for a very plastic envelope, meaning the virus continually shifts shape and evades the watchful eye of the immune system. In another post, ERV explains that antibodies make diseases like Dengue fever more deadly, as “non-neutralizing antibodies attached to viruses cause them to ‘stick’ to cells they normally couldn’t infect.” This phenomenon leads ERV to warn “anything but a ‘perfect’ vaccine could cause more severe disease after exposure.” On Neurotopia, Scicurious tells how inventive researchers made a “cocaine vaccine,” allowing antibodies to bind to chemical agents and keep them from passing into the brain. And on Effect Measure, Revere considers the possibility “abortive rabies” in the case of a girl who had antibodies for the deadly virus but no trace of infection.

Links below the fold.

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