BSCI 223 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Serotype, Sepsis, Streptococcus
SchoolUniversity of Maryland
DepartmentBiological Sciences Program
Course CodeBSCI 223
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Streptococcus pneumoniae is an encapsulated Gram-
positive bacterium. Antibodies directed against the
capsule provide serotype-specific protection. What is
the function of capsule in disease pathogenesis? How
does the presence of antibody allow the host to
overcome this bacterial virulence determinant?
The slippery capsules exterior to the cell wall of bacteria is
important for virulence or adherence.
If Wanda were colonized with the strain of S.
pneumoniae possessing the capsular serotype
responsible for Fredrica's sepsis, what type of immunity
would Fredrica have acquired from her mother? Why,
after three months, is she now susceptible to infections
caused by this serotype?
Fredrica would have acquired innate immunity from her
mother as her response to S. pneumoniae would have been
immediate. Innate immunity is nonspecific unlike the
pathogen specific adaptive immunity. Increased exposure to
the infection could cause increased susceptibility.
B cells play a significant role in the host response to
bacterial infections. How does a B cell recognize a
bacterium? Describe the humoral response that might
allow Fredrica to recover without treatment. Why is this
immunity "better" than the immunity that she acquired
from her mother?
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