Autoimmunity is the condition when the person own immune system fails to distinguish between self and non-self-cells. As a result of this the person body immune system work against own body cells thus damaging or destroying it. In the body, B and T lymphocytes are present that recognize foreign particles and destroys them but during their formation in the bone marrow both types of B and T lymphocytes are produced that are active against both self and non-self-cells. During their maturation negative selection occurs in which the self- reactive B and T lymphocytes are destroyed thus preventing the reaction of lymphocytes against self-cells. But in case of autoimmunity the lymphocytes escape the negative selection hence destroys body own cells. The disease that occurs because of it is called autoimmune disease.
Some examples of this include type- 1 diabetes, systemic lupus erythrematosus and rheumatoid arthritis. Diagnosis of autoimmunity includes the detection of antibodies that are reactive against body own cells or tissues. These antibodies can be detected by various techniques like immunofluorescence, radioimmunoassay and ELISA. The treatment of autoimmunity includes use of certain drugs that lowers the autoimmune response and symptoms but maintains the body ability to fight infections. Treatment depends upon the type of disease and its symptoms. Anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive drugs are currently used to treat the autoimmune disease.
Last date updated on July, 2014