immune surveillance

noun

variants or immunosurveillance
ˌi-myə-nō-sər-ˈvā-lən(t)s How to pronounce immune surveillance (audio)
i-ˌmyü-nō-,
 also  -ˈvāl-yən(t)s,
 or  -ˈvā-ən(t)s
or less commonly immunological surveillance
: the monitoring process by which cells of the immune system (such as natural killer cells, cytotoxic T cells, or macrophages) detect and destroy premalignant or malignant cells in the body
Scientists believe the immune system culls cells whose genetic machinery has gone haywire; errant cells that escape immune surveillance can become self-replicating monsters.David Stipp
According to [Douglas] Hanahan and [Robert A.] Weinberg, one of the emerging hallmarks of cancer is the ability to escape immunosurveillance and an enabling characteristic for the acquisition of these capabilities is the inflammation propagated by the tumor.Ioannis L. Aivaliotis et al.
broadly : any monitoring process of the immune system that detects and destroys foreign substances, cells, or tissues
Once their bodies were no longer exposed regularly to the [HIV] virus, however, immune surveillance stopped, allowing latent pockets of the virus, which previously had not caused a full-blown infection, to multiply explosively. Thomas H. Maugh

Word History

First Known Use

1965, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of immune surveillance was in 1965

Dictionary Entries Near immune surveillance

Cite this Entry

“Immune surveillance.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/immune%20surveillance. Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

Medical Definition

immune surveillance

noun
variants or immunosurveillance
ˌim-yə-nō-sər-ˈvā-lən(t)s How to pronounce immune surveillance (audio)
im-ˌyü-nō-,
 also  -ˈvāl-yən(t)s,
 or  -ˈvā-ən(t)s
also immunological surveillance
: the monitoring process by which cells of the immune sytstem (as natural killer cells, cytotoxic T cells, or macrophages) detect and destroy premalignant or malignant cells in the body
In transplant recipients, the increased incidence of HPV-related malignancies suggests the greater oncogenic potential of the virus in the setting of impaired immune surveillance.Brittany N. Stiebing et al.
According to [Douglas] Hanahan and [Robert A.] Weinberg, one of the emerging hallmarks of cancer is the ability to escape immunosurveillance and an enabling characteristic for the acquisition of these capabilities is the inflammation propagated by the tumor.Ioannis L. Aivaliotis et al.
broadly : any monitoring process of the immune system that detects and destroys foreign substances, cells, or tissues
One way in which an infectious agent can evade immune surveillance is by altering its antigens; this is particularly important for extracellular pathogens, against which the principal defense is the production of antibody against their surface structures. C. A. Janeway Jr. et al.
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