Kunkel Lecture: Fundamental immunodeficiency and its correction.

TitleKunkel Lecture: Fundamental immunodeficiency and its correction.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsNathan C
JournalJ Exp Med
Date Published2017 Aug 07
KeywordsAdaptive Immunity, Animals, Anti-Infective Agents, Drug Resistance, Bacterial, Humans, Immunity, Innate, Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes, Infection, Tuberculosis, Pulmonary, Vaccines

"Fundamental immunodeficiency" is the inability of the encoded immune system to protect an otherwise healthy host from every infection that could threaten its life. In contrast to primary immunodeficiencies, fundamental immunodeficiency is not rare but nearly universal. It results not from variation in a given host gene but from the rate and extent of variation in the genes of other organisms. The remedy for fundamental immunodeficiency is "adopted immunity," not to be confused with adaptive or adoptive immunity. Adopted immunity arises from four critical societal contributions to the survival of the human species: sanitation, nutrition, vaccines, and antimicrobial agents. Immunologists have a great deal to contribute to the development of vaccines and antimicrobial agents, but they have focused chiefly on vaccines, and vaccinology is thriving. In contrast, the effect of antimicrobial agents in adopted immunity, although fundamental, is fragile and failing. Immunologists can aid the development of sorely needed antimicrobial agents, and the study of antimicrobial agents can help immunologists discover targets and mechanisms of host immunity.

Alternate JournalJ. Exp. Med.
PubMed ID28701368
PubMed Central IDPMC5551579
Grant ListU19 AI111143 / AI / NIAID NIH HHS / United States

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