Passive vs Active Immunity

  Passive Active
MEANS OF ACQUISITION Receiving preformed antibodies Exposure to foreign antigens
ONSET Rapid Slow
DURATION Short span of antibodies (half-life = 3 weeks) Long-lasting protection (memory)
EXAMPLES IgA in breast milk, maternal IgG crossing placenta, antitoxin, humanized monoclonal antibody Natural infection, vaccines, toxoid
NOTES After exposure to Tetanus toxin, Botulinum toxin, HBV, Varicella, Rabies virus, or diphtheria toxin, unvaccinated patients are given preformed antibodies (passive)—“To Be Healed Very RapiDly” Combined passive and active immunizations can be given for hepatitis B or rabies exposure

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