Homeostasis of Health and Disease Essay Sample

Homeostasis of Health and Disease

Physiology of Disease and Vaccine Mechanism of Action

Polio, also known as poliomyelitis, is a disease that affects the anterior horn of spinal cord, motor neurons, and the brain stem. It is caused by the poliovirus. The hallmarks of the disease are flaccid asymmetric weakness and muscle atrophy that are caused by the loss of motor neurons as well as denervation of the associated skeletal muscles (Goodrick, 2014). Poliovirus is usually spread through an oral-fecal route, when an individual, due to poor sanitation, may come in contact with fecal particles. It can also be spread through food or water that came in contact with feces though it can also be less commonly spread through infected saliva (Edens et al., 2015).

Pathophysiological Impact

Pathophysiological impacts of polio include unaccustomed fatigue, which is associated with either rapid muscle tiring or the feeling of total body exhaustion. One may also experience muscle weakness and pain in the joints (Edens et al., 2015). A person who is suffering from polio also suffers from the lack of sleep or sleeping problems. Another impact of this disease is that one may be prone to breathing and swallowing difficulties (Goodrick, 2014). There is also a decreased ability in tolerating cold temperatures both during the day and at night. Finally, the disease has a deteriorating impact on the victim's ability to conduct customary daily activities like walking and bathing.

Disease Progression Without Vaccination

The progression of the disease without vaccination is a rapid process. The virus enters the body and affects the spinal cord or the central nervous system. The disease develops gradually up to the time that its symptoms begin to be seen (Edens et al., 2015). In this case, it starts causing paralysis in the victim and then it becomes full-blown if it is not subjected to timely medical care. When an infected person is not vaccinated, his/her immune system becomes absolutely weakened, and, as a result, an individual might be affected by any other diseases.

Vaccine Mechanism of Action

The polio vaccine induces the formation of serum antibody after it has been introduced into the body. Infections that are coupled with oral poliovirus vaccines can also induce the growth and development of secretory antibody (Edens et al., 2015). Additionally, the infection results in the shedding of virus, which increases the chances for possible spread of the virus through contact. The vaccine usually induces a high level of protection against the disease, which is facilitated by the serum antibody that handles the prevention of CNS invasion that would lead to viremia (Goodrick, 2014). The vaccine also induces protection against infection, but this does not mean that it modifies the related virus shedding mainly that from the oropharynx. Any infection that is existing whether from OPV (Oral Polio Vaccine) or wild virus induces a relatively high level of protection against diseases. This means that OPV is a necessity in life of all individuals.

The infection causes modification or sometimes prevention of this infection due to the fact that there is growth and development of the antibody that usually secretes IgA. The consequence is favorable whenever this vaccine is used, and it has other benefits to the society. This is because the exposed vaccine can play little or no role in the process of spreading the virus. A major concern that requires an answer in this case is the maintenance of immunity (Edens et al., 2015). The existence of lifelong immunologic memory usually assures an enhanced serum antibody response to any existing infection that might occur (Goodrick, 2014). However, this will be rapid when pre-infection antibodies cannot detect newly formed antibody and will ultimately block the blood-borne viral invasion of the CNS. If this does not happen, the booster doses of the vaccine should be indicated. Many OPV boosters should be indicated in any case in order to reinforce protection that occurs against infection and maintain herd immunity. 


The poliovirus infectivity can present long-term resistance against this illness. However, this does not mean that fortification is incomplete in regards to the already existing serotype (Wallace et al., 2015). Infectivity with a single type fails to translate to any sense of protection of an individual against infectivity with the other types of the disease. The gradual growth of efficient protections that are capable of ensuring the prevention of paralytic polio have been one of the major breakthroughs that have been made in the last century (Goodrick, 2014). There are two available vaccines so far: the killed or inactivate polio vaccine (IPV) and the live attenuated vaccine (OPV). The occurrence of a neutral antibody alongside polioviruses is a dependable associate of defense against the disease. Immunity that has been induced by a single serotype fails to succeed in provision of defense against the two other serotypes.

It is important to note that after the oral administration of OPV, there is production of a local immune response that occurs in the lining of the intestines (Wallace et al., 2015). The primary focus or role of this is becoming the primary site for replication of poliovirus. Mucosal immunity reduces the replication and the shedding of virus, which is crucial in the provision of a potential barrier that might facilitate its transmission. The combination of this mechanism with oral administration is capable of making the vaccine easier to get in the global eradication program of the disease.

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