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Active and Passive Immunity

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Immunity can be acquired in an active or passive way, and it can be natural or artificial. For this discussion describe passive and active immunity and how each can be natural and artificial. What is an example of natural immunity acquired passively?


Answer :



Immunity can be defined as a set of defenses of a body that protects the body against pathogens and helps in combating infections. It is a very complex system so in order to understand it; it has been broken down into different categories. Mainly, there are two types of immunity such as active immunity and passive immunity. 


Active immunity

Active immunity is produced by the immune system of the body in a response to the presence of an antigen. The immune system produces antibodies to the disease when exposed to a disease organism triggers the immune system (Grubbs & Kahwaji, 2018). There are different ways through which exposure to a disease organism can take place such as through infection with the actual disease. 


Passive immunity 

Passive immunity does not generate by the immune system of the body but it is provided to a person when he/she gets infected. Antibodies are provided to make the body able to fight against the infection or disease and overcome it. Passive immunity is more effective than active immunity because it helps the body to recover immediately while active immunity takes time (Morris & Mkhize, 2017). 

Immunity can be natural or artificial as well. When antibodies are developed in a body in a response to an infection, it is called natural immunity while when antibodies are developed in a body in a response to a vaccine, it is called artificial immunity. 

An example of natural immunity acquired passively 

During pregnancy, the placental transfer of lgG from mother to fetus is a good example of natural immunity acquired passively. 


Grubbs, H., & Kahwaji, C. I. (2018). Physiology, Active Immunity. In StatPearls [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing.

Morris, L., & Mkhize, N. N. (2017). Prospects for passive immunity to prevent HIV infection. PLoS medicine, 14(11).


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