Re: Is there still a chance for us?

From: jeff davis (
Date: Tue Sep 25 2001 - 16:15:05 MDT

--- wrote:

> Most Americans older than about 30-35 have been
> vaccinated for
> smallpox. It leaves a distinctive circular scar on
> the upper left arm.
> Military personnel were vaccinated up until 1990.
> Information from
> The reference above describes "substantial but
> waning" immunity after
> ten years from vaccination.
I have a question for the list.

When in the past I've encountered the subject of
viral/bacterial disease, I've wondered what the
problem might be that would prevent "immune system
sharing". Person "V" is vaccinated, and person "U" is
unvaccinated. When person V is exposed to the
infectious agent he/she generates antibodies,
presumably so rapidly that the level of "infection" is
minimal. No disease.

What then would happen if, when person U were to be
exposed, transfusions between U and V, back and forth,
were to be commenced?

The continued exposure of V to quantities of pathogen
would, hypothetically and/or logically--I'm guessing
here--stimulate V's immune system to generate even
greater quantities of antibodies. This seems like a
favorable circumstance.

The antibodies generated in V would most certainly
bind to the pathogens in U. But would U's killer
lymphocytes respond to the infectious agents thus
flagged, and attack them, or will they respond only to
self-made antibody "flags"? Would U's immune system
view V's antibodies as a separate infectious agent and
begin to generate an immune response to them? Even if
it did so, wouldn't it be playing catch-up, as with
the "real" infection, so that a substantial excess of
antibodies would still be available to bind to the
population of pathogen?

I have to believe that this approach has been thought
of long since, and that if workable would be in
widespread use? So what's the problem?

Just curious.

Best, Jeff Davis

    "Everything's hard till you know how to do it."
                      Ray Charles

Do You Yahoo!?
Get email alerts & NEW webcam video instant messaging with Yahoo! Messenger.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Oct 12 2001 - 14:40:57 MDT