The Immune System & Vaccination Basics. By Jeannie Stall, R.V.T. Credits: Clip Art Alleice Summers AVMA AAHA Bassert / McCurnin. The Immune System. Immune System = System of defense - Without it, animals couldn’t survive
By Jeannie Stall, R.V.T.
Credits: Clip Art
- Without it, animals couldn’t survive
Immunity = The actions of the
functioning Immune System
disease-causing agents, either foreign or internal
Non-Specific and Specific
Also known as “ Innate” or “ Inherited”
Shows same response to any/all antigenic insults.
species to provide a defense
against certain pathogens.
Dogs aren’t susceptible to Feline Leukemia Virus
Cats don’t acquire Canine Distemper Virus
Cats can’t get the protozoan,
“Ich”, from goldfish goldfish
“ The 1st line of defense”- A great mechanical barrier
against microorganisms, as long as it is intact.
Produces Sebum/Mucus/Enzymes as
chemical barriers to inhibit or
Invaded cells release enzymes known as
Mediators job: Attract WBC’s to area (phagocytosis),
dilate blood vessels, while vessel permeability.
Signs of inflammation:
Heat, redness, swelling & pain d/t these chemicals
The > blood flow temperature, which inhibits
the invading organism’s growth.
Phagocytosis =WhenWBC’s “gobble up” invading microorganisms & kill these pathogens via chemicals found in the cell’s cytoplasm.
Monocytes are WBC’s in the blood stream, but
when they enter the tissues, they are called
Macrophages. Theyare components of both
the Non-Specific & the Specific Immune System.
This chemical substance “interferes“ with
invading viruses’ ability to replicate/reproduce in
This enzyme binds to invader’s cell wall,
puncturing small holes in it, causing it to
rupture, which is known as lysis.
1. B- cells :
Produce antibodies to response to a specific
antigen stimulation ( Humoral Response ) 2. T- cells :
Bind directly w/ pathogen’s cell to destroy or
render it harmless ( Cell Mediated Response )
Can be either:
1. “Plasma Cells” - produce lg. protein molecules a.k.a. Antibodies/ Immunoglobulin, that “lock onto” pathogen.
Takes time- 7 – 10 days
2. “Memory Cells” - Ability to recognize the same
invading antigen/pathogen, if/when, it ever
crosses paths with it again.
( Lymph system gland located in the mediastinum)
T-cells get “educated” in thymus to recognize
their own animal’s cells. After
“graduation”, leave to circulate thoughout
the body, lymph nodes & spleen, in search
Macrophages latch on to
invaders & transport them to T-cells.
pathogens/antigens & transport them to T-cells.
T-cell “locks onto” receptor spot on pathogen’s surface
All these new T-cells go to invader’s location &
eliminate them. This response is quick & effective.
1. “Inherited” – Immunity due to genetic factors
influencing fetus before birth.
2. “Acquired” - Resistance/ Immunity that develops
after being born.
a. Natural: Ongoing exposure to pathogens
b. Artificial: Deliberate innoculation/vaccination
Passive Immunity- Antibodies formed in one
infected animal are transferred
to a non-infected animal.
Active Immunity- Animal’s own immune system
crosses paths with a pathogen then mounts
an immune response.
1. Direct : Licking & biting / Sexual contact / Airborne
ie: FIV / Brucellosis / Bordatella
2. Indirect via :
Vector = Transports pathogen
a. Biological – Carries & supports pathogen’s replication
Mosquito = Heartworm
b. Mechanical - Carries pathogen only
Flies = Pinkeye
Fomite = Inanimate objects
a. Feeding bowls = Panleukopenia
Iatrogenic = Vet. Uses contaminated equipment, needles, boots….
Vertical : Pathogen spread via parent, usually Mom, to offspring via
Division of United States Department of Agriculture
( U.S.D.A. )
Acceptable level of protection (vaccine efficacy)
is just 65 % to 95 %
Vaccine’s purpose is to stimulate immune response,
BUT it’s up to animal’s immune system to build an adequate immune response.
Unpack shipment immediately upon arrival
If not cold when received, RETURN IT !!!
Refrigerate vaccine upon arrival
Gently invert to mix---- Don’t create foam shaking it
Once mixed , it MUST be given in a timely manner
Shouldn’t stay in syringe > 15 min. d/t plastic issues
Keep vx. cool until administered
muster new response to vx.
Unhealthly situation prevents immune system rally.
or “depleted” systems.
St. Bernard or Yorkie, it requires a certain vx. volume to stimulate
immune response !
animal’s geographic location, lifestyle exposure
& benefit /risk ratio
not advised due to poor vaccine efficacy or
low benefit/risk ratio
Those vaccinations appropriate to provide protection in most animals against diseases that pose a risk of severe disease because the pathogens are virulent, highly infectious and widely distributed in the region.
- Highly efficacious
- Maintain “benefit vs. risk” ratios high enough to
warrant their general use
- Be of substantial public health importance
- Are required by law
Parvovirus Viral Rhinotracheitis
Hepatitis (Adeno2) Calicivirus
Non-Core Vx. Appropriate Due to Lifestyle:
Among Other Vaccinations………
Parainfluenza/ Parvovirus/ Corona
Panleukopenia / Chlamydia
Live disease-causing organism component altered
to render it safe/safer. May revert to virulent form.
Not for use in immuno-compromised animals.
organism (DNA separated & spliced) No chance of causing dz.
stimulate immune response. Rxns/Fibrosarcoma!
Mild : Most common - Hives, pruritis (itching),
redness, swelling (facial, airway, generalized)
Usually occur 30 min. - 4 hrs. post vx. dose,
but can be up to 12 – 24 hours post
Severe - Anaphylactic-
IMMEDIATE & LIFE THREATENING !!!
Vx. Induced Lymphosarcoma- Felines