Hi there. My name is Ian Tizard,
and I'm an University Professor of Immunology at Texas A&M University.
My prime interest is in veterinary immunology,
the science of resistance of animals,
domestic animals, to infectious agents.
This is a critical subject for
veterinarians because infectious diseases have affected humans,
their pets, and the livestock for thousands of years,
and they have to be controlled.
Immunology is the science of the defense of the body.
We live in a microbial environment.
There are bacteria everywhere.
Viruses are all around us,
and there's plenty of other potential invaders as well.
The list here shows quite a diversity,
and the immune system has to defend us against every one of these.
It's not surprising that it's complex.
It takes different mechanisms to handle different invaders.
When we look at the immune system,
we can divide it into three basic components.
Physical barriers, innate immunity, and adaptive immunity.
One way to think of this,
is the fact that the defense of the body is absolutely critical to survival,
to human survival, animal survival.
You can't rely on a single mechanism to
protect us against everything, so it's complicated.
When we look specifically at the domestic animals,
what we find is, of course,
we have a great diversity of species.
We've got dogs and cats,
companion animals, we have livestock, cattle and sheep,
horses, we've got pigs and increasingly we have aquaculture and poultry.
We won't talk about fish and poultry today.
But each of these species has to have an effective immune system if it is to survive.
An important thing to remember is that these immune systems differ
in major respects from the immune systems of mice and humans.
This is important because while
most immunology research is undertaken in mice and humans,
they do not necessarily apply to domestic animal species.
Likewise, we use a lot of vaccines in veterinary medicine.
Their motivation may be economic because after all,
to many forms of livestock,
vaccines are necessary to keep the animals alive,
or of course, in the case of our pets and companion animals,
it's a compassionate use.
Likewise, we're going to talk about this a little bit,
is that animals like humans suffer from immunological diseases.
They suffer from allergies and autoimmune diseases.