In the absence of antibiotic therapy, many patients survive infection, even infection by highly virulent pathogens. Thus, immunity may be due to factors such as a high functional reserve of organs or to an enhanced nonspecific op-sonization of pathogens by complement. In other cases, specific partial immunoglobulin (Ig) G-mediated immunity was produced during prior exposure to the pathogen or a new IgM-mediated immunity develops during the course of the infection. Specific immunity can be either cell mediated or antibody mediated and may be enhanced by endogenously produced cytokines. Exogenously administered cytokines also may prove clinically useful as adjuncts to antibiotic chemotherapy.
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