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Chapter 38. Agents That Affect Immunity. Immune System Functions. Recognize and dispose of foreign material such as: -Bacteria -Worms -Viruses -Drugs -Fungi -Food -Protozoa -Transplanted organs.

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chapter 38

Chapter 38

Agents That Affect Immunity

immune system functions
Immune System Functions
  • Recognize and dispose of foreign material such as:
  • -Bacteria -Worms
  • -Viruses -Drugs
  • -Fungi -Food
  • -Protozoa -Transplanted organs
immune system
Immune System
  • Responds to foreign agents (antigens)
    • Forms antibodies
    • Recognizes and destroys antigens
    • Reason for an allergic reaction
the immune system
The Immune System
  • Mast cells
  • Large tissue cells
  • promotes inflammation
  • increases permeability of blood vessels
  • PMN’s
  • ’scavenger’ white blood cells
  • contains powerful antibacterial enzymes
  • Macrophages
  • -large tissue cells
  • -removes damaged cells, bacteria, and other debris
immune responses
Immune Responses
  • Exposure to environmental antigens
  • Immune system may overreact
  • Results in an allergic response
  • Can be decreased by desensitization
  • Body may reject own tissue
  • Autoimmune response
  • Rheumatoid arthritis or systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
  • Organ graft
immune responses1
Immune Responses
  • Normal response requires a series of interactions
  • Defects cause decreased effectiveness of immune system
  • Increases susceptibility to infection
  • Causes could include:
  • -genetic defects
  • -aging
  • -immunosuppressant drug use
types of immunity
Types of Immunity
  • Active immunity
    • Administration of an antigen, a weakened or killed vaccine
    • Stimulates your immune system to form antibodies against the disease
    • Lasts for many years
types of immunity1
Types of Immunity
  • Passive Immunity
    • Administration of preformed antibodies
      • IgG antibodies
    • Provides instant protection
    • Short duration
nursing considerations
Nursing Considerations
  • Obtain a full history, including allergies, pregnancy, immune status, medical condition, and past response to immunizations, prior to giving the vaccines
  • Follow directions for administration and storage of the vaccines
  • Have emergency equipment available
  • Deltoid muscle or vastus lateralis muscle for IM injection sites
nursing considerations1
Nursing Considerations
  • Ibuprofen or Tylenol for premedication
  • Observe the patient after the vaccine administration for any distress
  • Keep accurate records
  • Educate patients on side effects of vaccines and symptoms to report
interferons and interleukins
Interferons and Interleukins
  • Synthetic IM injection
  • Stimulate the immune and inflammatory response
    • Assist with communication between the cells of the immune (and other) system(s)
interferons and interleukins1
Interferons and Interleukins


  • They are used to:
    • Treat cancer
    • Stimulate T cell production
    • Promote blood cell formation
    • Treat several inflammatory diseases
immunosuppressant agents
Immunosuppressant Agents
  • Examples: Azathioprine/Imuran, Cyclosporine/Sandimmune, CellCept
    • Prevent organ rejection after transplant
    • Used in combination with corticosteroid therapy
    • Combined with corticosteroids
    • Total mechanism of action is unclear
      • They suppress T lymphocytes
immunosuppressant agents1
Immunosuppressant Agents
  • Must be taken every day- no missed doses
    • Compliance necessary
    • Side effects/Adverse effects:
      • Nephrotoxicity, tremor, HTN, gum hyperplasia, nausea…
immunosuppressant agents2
Immunosuppressant Agents
  • Many Drug-Drug interactions
    • Medication changes should be cleared through the transplant physician

Clients need to avoid infections

-Instruct to wear a mask if going out

Immunosuppressant agents are expensive

-Cost $50,000/year or more