MadSci Network: Immunology

Subject: How often can bacterial infections be overcome by the immune system?

Date: Sun Jun 24 23:01:17 2001
Posted by m
Grade level: 10-12 School: No school entered.
City: Fairfax State/Province: va Country: usa
Area of science: Immunology
ID: 993438077.Im

I would like to know how often a normal immune system can overcome a bacterial 
infection.  I know some bacterial infections (like some viruses) kill, and some 
like sinus or ear infections don't kill.  But the immune system seems to be 
much better at fighting off viruses than bacteria.  Is this true?  If so, why 
are our antibodies so less effective in attacting bacteria?  I mean, evolution-
wise the human body had the same amount of time to develop defenses against 
bacteria.  I don't think bacteria mutate any faster or anything.  Please tell 
me why people generally don't get over common bacterial infections for a long 
time, but common viruses are generally easily dispatched by the immune system.

Re: How often can bacterial infections be overcome by the immune system?

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