BIOLOGY Figure 8.1 Stages in the life cycle of Plasmodium Entamoeba histolytica is a protozoan parasite in the large intestine of human which causes amoebiasis(amoebic dysentery). Symptoms of this disease include constipation, abdominal pain and cramps, stools with excess mucous and blood clots. Houseflies act as mechanical carriers and serve to transmit the parasite from faeces of infected person to food HUMAN HEALTH AND DISEASE monocytes and natural killer (type of lymphocytes) in the blood as well as macrophages in tissues can phagocytose and destroy microbes. (iv) Cytokine barriers : Virus-infected cells secrete proteins called interferons which protect non-infected cells from further viral infection. 8.2.2 Acquired Immunity Acquired immunity, on the other hand, is pathogen specific. It is characterised by memory. This means that our body when it encounters a pathogen for the first time produces a response called primary response which is of low intensity. Subsequent encounter with the same pathogen elicits a highly intensified secondary or anamnestic response. This is ascribed to the fact that our body appears to have memory of the first encounter. The primary and secondary immune responses are carried out with the help of two special types of lymphocytes present in our blood, i.e., B-lymphocytes and Tlymphocytes.The B-lymphocytes produce an army of proteins in response to pathogens into our blood to fight with them. These proteins are called antibodies. The T-cells themselves do not secrete antibodies but help B cells produce them. Each antibody molecule has four peptide chains, two small called light chains and two longer called heavy chains. Hence, an antibody is represented as HL . 22 Figure 8.4 Structure of an antibody molecule Different types of antibodies are produced in our body. IgA, IgM, IgE, IgG are some of them. A cartoon of an antibody is given in Figure 8.4. Because these antibodies are found in the blood, the response is also called as humoral immune response. This is one of the two types of our acquired immune response – antibody mediated. The second type is called cell-mediated immune response or cell-mediated immunity (CMI). The T-lymphocytes mediate CMI. Very often, when some human organs like heart, eye, liver, kidney fail to function satisfactorily, transplantation is the only remedy to enable the patient to live a normal life. Then a search begins – to find a suitable donor. Why is it that the organs cannot be taken from just anybody? What is it that HUMAN HEALTH AND DISEASE Figure 8.6 Replication of retrovirus sexual partners, drug addicts who take drugs intravenously, individuals who require repeated blood transfusions and children born to an HIV infected mother. Do you know–when do people need repeated blood transfusion? Find out and make a list of such conditions. It is important to note that HIV/AIDS is not spread by mere touch or physical contact; it spreads only through body fluids. It is, hence, imperative, for the physical and psychological well-being, that the HIV/AIDS infected persons are not isolated from family and society. There is always a time-lag between the infection and appearance of AIDS symptoms. This period may vary from a few months to many years (usually 5-10 years). HUMAN HEALTH AND DISEASE poppy plant Papaver somniferum (Figure 8.8). Generally taken by snorting and injection, heroin is a depressant and slows down body functions. Cannabinoids are a group of chemicals (Figure 8.9), which interact with cannabinoid receptors present principally in the brain. Natural cannabinoids are obtained from the inflorescences of the plant Cannabis sativa (Figure 8.10). The flower tops, leaves and the resin of cannabis plant are used in various combinations to produce marijuana, hashish, charas and ganja. Generally taken by inhalation and oral ingestion, these are known for their effects on cardiovascular system of the body. Figure 8.9 Skeletal structure of Figure 8.10 Leaves of Cannabis sativa cannabinoid molecule Coca alkaloid or cocaine is obtained from coca plant Erythroxylum coca, native to South America. It interferes with the transport of the neuro-transmitter dopamine. Cocaine, commonly called coke or crack is usually snorted. It has a potent stimulating action on central nervous system, producing a sense of euphoria and increased energy. Excessive dosage of cocaine causes hallucinations. Other well-known plants with hallucinogenic properties are Atropa belladona and Datura (Figure 8.11). These days cannabinoids are also being abused by some sportspersons. Drugs like barbiturates, amphetamines, benzodiazepines, and other similar drugs, that are normally used as medicines to help patients cope with Figure 8.11 Flowering branch of Datura mental illnesses like depression and insomnia, are often abused. Morphine is a very effective sedative and painkiller, and is very useful in patients who have undergone surgery. Several plants, fruits and seeds having hallucinogenic properties have been used for hundreds of years in folk-medicine, religious ceremonies and rituals all over the globe. When these are taken for a purpose other than medicinal use or in amounts/frequency that impairs one’s physical, physiological or psychological functions, it constitutes drug abuse.