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2.2 Summary of Section 2

  • The majority of present-day vaccination programmes use active vaccines containing pathogen-specific antigens to elicit a protective immune response in the recipient. Repeated vaccination enhances the effectiveness of the antibody response and (for some vaccines) also elicits cell-mediated responses.

  • Passive immunisation uses antibodies raised in human donors or in horses, which are used either to treat certain life-threatening infections as soon as symptoms appear, or prophylactically to prevent infection after a known exposure.