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A Case of X-linked Agammaglobulinemia



Author:

David F. Dean
Department of Biology
Spring Hill College
ddean@shc.edu

Abstract:

Though a normal, full-term baby at birth, starting at about 10 months of age “Billy DeWitt” has suffered a series of infections, including sinusitis, otitis media, and pneumonia. Students read a brief clinical history of the patient and a description of the relevant signs and symptoms, then answer a set of directed questions designed to probe the underlying anatomy, physiology, and pathology of the disorder.  In the process, they learn about the human hemolymphatic system. The case has been used in a sophomore-level course in human anatomy and physiology for pre-med and nursing students as well as in a senior-level elective course in general physiology taken primarily by pre-med students.

Objectives:
  • The fundamental differences between nonspecific and specific body defense mechanisms.
  • The differences between primary and secondary lymphoid organs, and the steps involved in lymphocyte “maturation.”
  • The distinction between humoral and cellular immunity.
  • The nature of antigens, and why proteins are typically highly antigenic.
  • The five classes of antibody and the means by which antibody molecules exert a protective effect.
  • The differences between active and passive immunity.
  • The role of maternal antibodies in the protection of an infant from infectious disease.
  • The nature of X-linked inheritance.
Keywords: Hemolymphatic system; X-linked agammaglobulinemia; X-linked hypogammaglobulinemia; Bruton syndrome; sex-linked agammaglobulinemia; B-lymphocytes; T-lymphocytes; immunoglobulin; gammaglobulin; lymphoid organs; immunity; antigens; antibodies
Topical Area: N/A
Educational Level: Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division
Formats: PDF
Type/Method: Directed
Language: English
Subject Headings: Physiology   Medicine (General)   Nursing  
Date Posted: 09/08/06
Date Modified: N/A
Copyright: Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.

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