The DTaP vaccine protects your child from getting tetanus (lockjaw), diphtheria, and acellular pertussis (whooping cough). All three of these are potentially life-threatening bacterial infections.
The bacteria the causes tetanus is called Clostridium tetani and is often found in the soil. In the United States, tetanus is most often transmitted through a break in the skin, such as a deep puncture, like stepping on a nail. However, injuries that involve dead skin (burns, frostbite, gangrene, crush injuries, etc.) are more likely to cause tetanus. Wounds contaminated with soil, saliva, or feces, and that are not properly cleaned, as well as punctures with non sterile needles are at an increased risk for tetanus. Continue reading →
When our bodies become sick with a virus, bacteria, fungi, parasite, etc., our adaptive immune system, the one that “remembers” microbes, not only fights off the microbe but creates protective immunity against it.
Protective immunity is the body’s ability to resist a certain disease. The body’s source of protective immunity against microbes comes from the antibodies created by B cells, as well as the memories stored in the body’s specialized lymphocytes (B and T cells). By “specialized”, I mean they hold a special memory of the particular microbe the protective immunity is against. Continue reading →