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By N. A. Simmons

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Rabies is an example of an animal-transmitted disease which has been controlled in Great Britain. The compulsory muzzling of dogs, n o w no longer enforced, and the quarantine laws, which prevent the entrance into the country of infected animals, c o m pletely eradicated rabies from Great Britain. O t h e r countries have not been able to carry out these measures because of land frontiers and because of a wild animal reservoir of the disease. Unfortunately the risk of rabies returning is increasing because the disease in wild animals, particularly foxes, in continental Europe is coming closer to the northern coast of France, and thus closer to Great Britain.

Cell mediated immunity is extremely important in maintaining resistance to many microbial infections in particular to tuberculosis and diseases caused by fungi. HYPERSENSITIVITY So far the interaction between invading organisms and antibodies has been considered; apart from serum sickness, the consequences to the host of an antigenantibody reaction have been largely ignored. Most of the reactions between antigens and antibodies take place without causing any damage whatsoever to the host, but in some instances a state arises in which an Body Defences Against Infection 47 abnormally great reaction occurs on presentation of the antigen.

Bacteria are removed mechanically from the mucous membrane lining the respiratory tract. They are trapped in the sticky secretion on the surface, mucus, and then swept away by the action of cilia, minute hair-like bodies projecting from the cells lining the cavity. This defence system may be suppressed by cigarette smoke. A most important general means of defence is the inflammatory response. This is a general reaction of body tissues to a noxious agent, be it bacterial, chemical or physical in nature.

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