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USMLE® Step 1 questions

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USMLE® Step 1 style questions USMLE

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A researcher evaluates the mechanism of action of a particular vaccine that induces the immune system to produce antibodies against a toxin produced by a bacteria. Still, it does not cause the formation of antibodies against the bacteria itself. Which vaccines work in this mechanism?  

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Bordetella pertussis p. , 141

vaccines p. 141

Conjugate vaccines p. 125

Corynebacterium diphtheriae p. , 137

unvaccinated children p. 183


unvaccinated children p. 183

vaccine for p. 137


unvaccinated children p. 183

Haemophilus influenzae p. , 140

vaccine p. 177

Haemophilus influenzae type B

unvaccinated children p. 183

vaccine p. 140

Live attenuated vaccines p. 109

Measles p. 167, 178

unvaccinated children p. 183


unvaccinated children p. 183


unvaccinated children p. 183

Pediatric patients

unvaccinated p. 183


unvaccinated children p. 183

Poliovirus p. 549

unvaccinated children p. 183


unvaccinated children p. 183

Rubella p. 166

unvaccinated children p. 183

Sabin poliovirus vaccine p. 164


vaccine p. 136

Unvaccinated children p. 183

Vaccines p. 109

Bordetella pertussis p. , 141

diphtheria p. 137

encapsulated bacteria p. 125

Haemophilus influenzae p. , 140, 177

Poliovirus p. 164

rabies p. NaN

rotavirus p. 164

Salmonella typhi p. , 142

tetanus p. 136

toxoids as p. 129

Varicella zoster virus (VZV) p. 161, 487, 491

vaccine p. 108

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When you get an infection, you develop adaptive immunity.

In other words, you generate memory T and B cells, so that if you encounter the same antigen again, they can quickly replicate and respond.

Most of the time we think of immunologic memory developing after natural infection. But memory T and B cells also develop after vaccination.

Vaccination is the process of generating a protective adaptive immune responses against microbes by exposure to nonpathogenic forms or components of microbes.

That’s the key - getting long term active protection to a harmful microbe, from something that’s not harmful.

Vaccination also helps up to establish herd immunity.

Herd immunity is the concept that if enough people in the population - or herd - are vaccinated the entire population, even those who are unvaccinated, develop a higher resistance to that infection.

The amount of people within a herd that need to be vaccinated to maintain herd immune status differs from pathogen to pathogen.

When too few people in a herd are vaccinated, there are more people in the population that are able to get the illness and spread it.

Vaccination is an active process of developing immunity.

This is different from passive immunity which is where a person gets antibodies that are made by another person or animal like a horse or mouse or by cells in a lab.

A common form of this is when antibodies are pooled from the community and is given intravenously - it’s called intravenous immunoglobulin or IV-Ig.

Passive immunity last for only as long as the antibodies last - usually weeks to months.

The antibodies that an infant receives from their mother in utero or during breastfeeding are examples of passive immunity.

IgG antibodies in the blood cross the placenta initially protecting the baby to some pathogens that mom has already made antibodies to.


Vaccinations, also known as immunizations, are a way to protect individuals from infectious diseases. Vaccines work by stimulating the immune system to recognize and fight specific pathogens, such as viruses or bacteria. They allow us to develop active immunity where a protective adaptive immune response is made to pathogens without causing disease in the patient.

There are four main types of vaccines: Live attenuated, inactivated, subunit, and toxoid vaccines. Live attenuated and inactivated vaccines are whole-cell vaccines, which means that the whole virus or bacteria is used to create the vaccine. Subunit and toxoid vaccines are considered fractionated vaccines because only one part of the pathogen is used to create the vaccine. Vaccines are typically given through injections, nasal sprays, or oral doses, and are usually recommended for infants and young children, as well as for adults who may be at risk for certain infectious diseases. Some vaccines, such as the flu vaccine, need to be given annually, while others provide lifelong protection after a series of doses.


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