QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture. BioTRAC Science Saturday Activity: Operation Antibody Year 6 Area – Infectious Diseases Insights Your body has built-in defenses to help keep you from becoming sick, even when you have been exposed to a pathogen. You can help your body out by having good hygiene. Your body’s first lines of defense, its barriers, do a great deal to help keep out pathogens. Any that actually make it past barriers then have to go toe-to-toe with the immune system. The immune system has a variety of mechanism to help prevent infections. When infectious diseases spread throughout the population, it becomes important for public measures to be undertaken to keep the community healthy. Developed countries have regulations that help to protect the general public from infectious agents. However, the countries that have the most problems are the ones that can’t afford to impose public health measures. Food for Thought What are some of the reasons that infectious agents ran rampant in ancient times? List some hygiene techniques that may help protect you against infectious diseases. What are your first defenses to pathogens, or barriers? How is it possible for pathogens to get past it? What is the immune system? In general, how does it work? What are some signs that your immune system is working? Describe some of the mechanisms of the immune system. How does the body use the immune system to develop immunity to certain pathogens? What is a vaccine? How does it work? Why doesn’t our immune system work with HIV. What effect does HIV/AIDS have on the immune system? What is the reason for imposing public health measures? What are some of these measures? Vocabulary Hygiene: practices that ensure cleanliness and good health Immune system: the body’s defense system against invasion by foreign substances or disease; it detects pathogens and eliminates them by launching an attack against them Immunity: natural or acquired resistance to a specific disease; the ability to remember a previous encounter with a foreign substance and react, quickly, to it Nonspecific mechanisms: work against a wide variety of invaders; includes skin, inflammatory responses, fever, tears, saliva, mucous Specific mechanisms: pathogens Vaccination: to a disease effective only against specific treatment with a vaccine to produce immunity Antibiotics: substances produced by molds/fungi that kill or inhibit bacterial growth Antigen: the body molecule that stimulates an immune response in Antibodies: proteins used by the immune system to identify and neutralize foreign objects; each recognizes a specific antigen and can be found in the blood and tissue fluids or secretions QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture. Operation Antibody! Apply your knowledge of the immune system to explain what is going on as the body is invaded. Materials: Index cards each with one of the 6 case studies Construction Paper Markers Poster Board 1. Each group chooses an index card describing a specific case. 2. Using what you’ve learned, plus other sources of information, analyze the case. 3. Create a diagram or concept map that illustrates the interaction between the invading antigen and the immune system. Include: a. Type of antigen b. The reaction caused c. Mode of entry d. Transmission e. How the immune system deals with it; the immune response 4. Present to class! Questions: 1. What was different about the response you dealt with when compared to the responses of the other groups in the class? 2. Describe some of the ways microbes/pathogens evade the body’s immune system. 3. What is the difference between an antigen and an antibody? 4. Explain the similarities/differences in the ways that bacteria and viruses affect the immune system.