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University of Toronto St. George

Lecture 01: The Immune System A Historical Perspective The Black Death (AKA bubonic plague) Impact on world history o Example of how the immune system responds to pathogen can shape history, etc. V. deadly o 1350-1400, 30-60% Europeans killed o 1550, Europes population recovered Spread through trade routes, people moving to cities then to countryside o Rats carrying fleas carrying Yersinia pestis Yersinia pestis: bacterial causal agent Cats considered evil then no natural rat predators Consequences o Farmers killed food supplies cut off, starvation o Mongol Empire collapsed o Unknown mechanism superstition had Jews persecuted, suspected of poisoning wells o Civic services shut down more taxes on peasants, 1371 revolt o Education and architecture suspended Why the immune system matters Black Death survivors had immunological advantage? o Retrospective studies genes different between survivors and victims o Survivors had more resources Renaissance? Or, bc Church and feudalism dissolved as unable to save people? Immunity Noun: the quality or state of being immune; especially, a condition of being able to resist a particular disease th o 14 century Timeline leading up to the conceptualization 2000 BC, Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh (fabled hero-king) contained accounts of disease and pestilence 430 BC, plague outbreak spurred Thucydides (Greek historian, general) to report idea of immunity as result of disease o Refused to blame gods 930 AD, Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariya Razi (Persian physician [paediatrician, neurosurgeon, ophthalmologist], alchemist) died o First to diagnose smallpox versus measles, to recognize smallpoxs epidemic capability Using Humoralism to differentiate diseases Theory of human body makeup and mechanisms
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