serum sickness

a generalized allergic reaction to a foreign serum or drug, characterized by fever, skin rash, enlarged lymph nodes, and painful joints. Also called serum disease.

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▪ allergic reaction
      an allergic (immune system disorder) reaction to animal serum or antiserum injected into an individual's blood to provide immunity against such illnesses as tetanus, botulism, and snake-venom poisoning. Symptoms include skin eruption, itching, swelling of the face and extremities, fever, joint pain and sometimes swelling, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting; severe cases may also show neurological symptoms.

      The disorder arises when the patient's antibodies (antibody) attack the animal serum's proteins as they would any foreign invader, forming antigen-antibody complexes that lodge in the blood vessel walls. complement, a series of blood proteins, is then activated, causing inflammation. Serum sickness develops within two weeks of serum injection and usually lasts only a few days. Its severity depends on both the amount of serum injected and the previous immune state of the patient; sensitized patients react more quickly than those producing antibodies for the first time. Also, persons with a history of allergy are more likely to develop serum sickness.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • serum sickness — n an allergic reaction to the injection of foreign serum manifested by hives, swelling, eruption, arthritis, and fever called also serum disease * * * a reaction that sometimes occurs 7 12 days after injection of a quantity of foreign antigen and …   Medical dictionary

  • Serum sickness — Infobox Disease Name = Serum sickness Caption = DiseasesDB = 11970 ICD10 = ICD10|T|80|6|t|80 ICD9 = ICD9|999.5 ICDO = OMIM = MedlinePlus = eMedicineSubj = med eMedicineTopic = 2105 MeshID = D012713 Serum sickness is a reaction to proteins in… …   Wikipedia

  • serum sickness — noun a delayed allergic reaction to the injection of an antiserum caused by an antibody reaction to an antigen in the donor serum • Syn: ↑serum disease • Hypernyms: ↑allergy, ↑allergic reaction …   Useful english dictionary

  • serum sickness — noun Date: circa 1913 an allergic reaction to the injection of foreign serum manifested by hives, swelling, eruption, arthritis, and fever …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • serum sickness — A hypersensitivity response (Type III) to the injection of large amounts of antigen, as might happen when large amounts of antiserum are given in a passive immunization. The effects are caused by the presence of soluble immune complexes in the… …   Dictionary of molecular biology

  • serum sickness — noun An allergylike reaction to proteins in antiserum derived from animal sources …   Wiktionary

  • serum sickness — a reaction that sometimes occurs 7–12 days after injection of a quantity of foreign antigen and is characterized by the deposition of large immune complexes. Since the complexes are deposited in the arteries, kidneys, and joints, the symptoms are …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • serum sickness — /ˈsɪərəm sɪknəs/ (say searruhm siknuhs) noun a hypersensitive reaction to proteins in an antiserum derived from a non human animal source …   Australian English dictionary

  • Болезнь Сывороточная (Serum Sickness) — реакция, которая иногда возникает через 7 12 дней после введения чужеродной для организма сыворотки (например, лошадиной сыворотки, используемой для приготовления противостолбнячных инъекций). Обычными симптомами сывороточной болезни являются:… …   Медицинские термины

  • serum disease — n SERUM SICKNESS * * * see under sickness …   Medical dictionary

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