Paediatric immunology is a branch of science that studies the ability of children's bodies to resist foreign entities, including infections and viruses. A paediatric immunologist is a specialist who knows how children's immune systems work, diagnoses diseases caused by immunodeficiencies and prescribes the necessary treatment.
Immunology is a branch of medicine whose main aim is to solve problems related to the production of antibodies in response to foreign elements (antigens) in the body. The body's ability to identify antigens and produce antibodies to maintain biological integrity is called immunity. Disruption of its functions leads to various diseases, which are treated by paediatricians and immunologists.
Everyone has innate (hereditary) immunity, formed in the course of evolutionary development. It reacts more quickly to pathogens but recognises them with less precision.
During the individual development of the organism (ontogenesis), acquired (adaptive) immunity - the ability to resist certain antigens that the immune system has already encountered - is formed. In this case, immunological memory is involved. Acquired immunity identifies the pathogen more precisely and deals with it more effectively. It can be acquired after an illness or as a result of a vaccination.
Children's immune systems are still in their formative stages and therefore their bodies are particularly vulnerable to environmental factors. In addition, vigorous growth takes up a lot of internal resources. Accordingly, the child, in the development of acquired immunity, encounters critical periods when the body's reaction to pathogens can be inadequate and even paradoxical: both insufficient for protection - immunodeficiencies, and excessive - autoimmune reactions.
During such periods it is especially important to have a timely examination by a paediatric immunologist and, if necessary, carry out prevention of immune system disorders, and in the case of disease, to undergo treatment. A qualified specialist will select effective methods for restoring health and correcting immunity (as indicated) so that the immune system can cope with illnesses on its own in the future.