Introduction to Inflammation, Immunity, and Infectious Disorders

Introduction to Inflammation, Immunity, and Infectious Disorders

Majid Ali, M.D.

At energetic-molecular levels, life is an injury-healing-injury cycle. Healing is the intrinsic capacity of the organism to repair damage inflicted by that injury. No healing is possible without inflammation. So, iinflammation must be regarded as an integral part of the energetic-molecular mosaic that is life.

This view of inflammation—that it is a physiologic component of the essential injury-healing-injury nature of life—extends far beyond the classical and wholly inadequate notion of it being a process characterized by edema, erythema, tenderness, pain, and infiltrate of inflammatory cells. Since oxygen is the organizing influence of human biology and governs the aging process in humans, it follows that inflammation, first and foremost, is one of the many face of oxygen homeostasis. In 1990, I devoted a large part of Oxygen and Aging (200) to this subject.

Immunity Is the Ability to Preserve Health

Immunity is generally seen in the context of microbial infections. This is a very limited view of immunity. The man-microbe conflicts are a legacy of microbe-microbe conflicts during the primordial period—long before humans appeared on the scene. Oxygen created and adjudicated microbe-microbe conflicts then, as it does the man-microbe conflicts now. I came to recognize that through my clinical work with persons who control microbial infections well—with or without antimicrobial drugs — as well as with those who cannot with any antimicrobial. A large body of personal phase-contrast microscopic and biochemical findings in those patients led me to the conclusion that the fundamental molecular derangement in the latter is disruption of the oxygen homeostasis, including respiratory-to-fermentative shift in ATP production described previously.

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