What is the Difference between Virology & Immunology?

Difference between Immunology and Virology

Microbiology is the branch of biology which deals with the smallest of living things or organisms like bacteria, fungi, algae, protozoa, and viruses. Immunology is the main study of the response of higher organisms to foreign substances every day, including microbes.

Because of their high growth rate and relative simplicity as usual, microbes are often the experimental subjects of choice for all examining basic genetic and biological phenomena. A significant fraction of contemporary biochemical research employs microbiological and immunological trying new methods 

There are so many research areas in which practical and theoretical advances are occurring include: the study and evolution of microbial species pathogenic to animals, plants, and humans; genetic engineering of microbes to analyze basic biological processes and generate valuable products; so the nature and occurrence of microbial life in extremely  unusual environments for that reason; the role of microbes in stabilization of the biosphere by recycling everything’s and detoxifying of the waste products; and the genetics and regulation of the immune response is better.

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Immunologist vs virologist

Von- Behring and Kitasato in 1890 produced antibodies in guineapigs’s serum by injecting a sequence of sublethal amount of tetanus toxin. The antibody so produced could counteract the tetanus toxin notably. The tetanus and diphtheria antitoxins were the first ever known antibodies. Pfeiffer in 1893 introduced live Vibrio cholera into guinea pigs that had been previously inoculated with killed cultures of vibrios.


The vibrios were shown to go lysis due to bactericidal effects. Bordet in 1895 again did the same  experiment and demonstrated that two components of serum took part in lytic reaction , the first being heat stable (antibody) and the second being heat labile ( complement). The single antibody sensitised the vibrios and the lytic reaction was due to complement.  Later on agglutinin, precipitin, and complement fixing antibodies were explained in serum.

Metchinoff in 1883 explained that phagocytic reaction was the prime defence mechanism against microbial attack of tissues and thus the cellular data of immunity was established. In 1967, Burnet proposed the concept of immunological surveillance according to which the primary function of the immune system is to protect the integrity of the body, seeking and killing all the foreign antigens. Malignancy was seen as a failure of immunological surveillance.  The scope of immunity was enlarged to include natural defense against cancer.

A number of scientists in medicine and physiology have been awarded Nobel Prizes for their contributions given to microbiology.


The presence of viruses became obvious during the closing years of the nineteenth century , when many contagious diseases had been shown to be caused by bacteria. But there remained a vast number of infectious diseases for which no bacterial cause could be made. During the studies on rabies, Pasteur thought that the causative agent could be too small to be seen under microscope.

The presence of such ultramicroscopic microbes was shown when Ivanovsky reproduced mosaic disease in tobacco plants by using the juice of diseased plants to the healthy leaves.

The first human disease manifested to be of viral origin was the yellow fever. It was discovered by Walter Reed in 1992 in Cuba. Landsteiner and Popper in 1909 demonstrated that poliomyelitis was because of a filterable virus. Goodpasteur in 1930 made techniques of viral cultivation in chick embryos.

The use of tissue culture increased the scope of virological techniques considerably.  Though the larger viruses could be viewed under light microscope after proper staining, detailed morphological study of viruses became possible only with the launching of electron microscope by Ruska in 1934.

The chances of virus causing cancer was first put forth by Ellerman and Bang in 1908 in fowl leukemia.  Rous in 1911 separated a virus causing fowl sarcoma. Many viruses have since been isolated which aim tumors in animals and birds.

The discovery of viral and cellular oncogenes was a breakthrough for possible mechanisms of viral oncogenesis. The positive proof of viral causation of human malignancy was put  when the human t cell leukemia virus was isolated in 1980.

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