The main difference between immunocompromised and immunocompetent is that Immunocompromised is a weak immune system in which the body can’t fight off viruses and bacteria due to inherited conditions or other health conditions. In contrast, immunocompetent means the immune system is working correctly, and the body is capable of mounting an appropriate immune response when necessary.
Immunocompromised and immunocompetent are two statuses of the immune system. The immune system is a complex system that protects the body against infections.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Immunocompromised
– Definition, Facts, Features
2. What is Immunocompetent
– Definition, Facts, Features
3. Similarities Between Immunocompromised and Immunocompetent
– Outline of Common Features
4. Difference Between Immunocompromised and Immunocompetent
– Comparison of Key Differences
5. FAQ – Immunocompromised and Immunocompetent
– Answers to frequently asked questions
What is Immunocompromised
Immunocompromised is the immune system that does not function properly. Therefore, it is incapable of mounting an appropriate immune response when necessary. The two stages of the compromised immune system are immunodeficiency and immunosuppression. Immunodeficiencies are inherited, such as severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) and other primary antibody deficiency disorders. Immunosuppression occurs due to health conditions such as infectious diseases, AIDS, certain cancers, or an accident that damages the spleen and immunosuppressant drugs. Both conditions are altered immunocompetencies.
Furthermore, immunocompromised people should not receive viral or bacterial attenuated vaccines. However, inactivated vaccines offer full benefits to immunocompetent patients. Further, an altered immune system can lead to severe consequences. Although it only reacts against invaders, sometimes it treats its body cells as foreign. This situation constitutes an autoimmune disorder. Grave’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto thyroiditis, type I diabetes, lupus, and vasculitis.
What is Immunocompetent
Immunocompetent is the ability of the immune system to produce a normal immune response following exposure to an antigen. It is the opposite of immunodeficiency. People with close contact with persons with altered immunocompetence should receive vaccines such as MMR, varicella, and rotavirus. Thereby, the immune system would be able to recognize harmful pathogens. The immune system recognizes viruses, bacteria, and parasites. The immune system produces immune cells and proteins.
Moreover, the immune system recognizes and resists organ transplantation and blood transfusion tissues. Also, it responds to pathogens in two ways: cell-mediated immune response and humoral immune response. T lymphocytes recognize and bind virus-infected cells and cancer cells that display tumor antigens in cell-mediated immune response. In comparison, B lymphocytes and plasma cells produce antibodies to fight against viruses, bacteria, and other harmful pathogens in the humoral immune response. Therefore, mature T and B cells recognize antigens, mounting an immune response.
Similarities Between Immunocompromised and Immunocompetent
- Immunocompromised and immunocompetent are two statuses of the immune system.
- They help the body to fight against infections.
Difference Between Immunocompromised and Immunocompetent
Immunocompromised refers to a status of the immune system in which the defense is low. Immunocompetent refers to a status of the immune system in which the immune system works properly and is capable of mounting an appropriate immune response.
Immunocompromised is the inability of the immune system to fight against infections, while immunocompetent is the ability of the immune system to fight against diseases.
In immunocompromised patients, the immune system works properly, while in immunocompetent patients, the immune system does not work.
FAQ: Immunocompromised and Immunocompetent
What exactly is immunocompromised?
Immunocompromised is having a weakened immune system. Immunocompromised people are more likely to get sick or be sick for a more extended period. Medical conditions or taking immunosuppressive medication or treatment can cause immunosuppression.
Who is classified as immunocompromised?
People who have had bone marrow transplantation within the last two years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system are immunocompromised.
What are the most common immunocompromised diseases?
Autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome (ALPS), chronic granulomatous disease (CGD), Common Variable Immunodeficiency (CVID), congenital neutropenia syndromes, etc.
In brief, immunocompromised and immunocompetent are two statuses of the immune system. The primary function of the immune system is to fight against infections. When immunocompromised, the immune system does not work correctly, and it does not fight against diseases. In comparison, the immunocompetent immune system is functional against infections. Therefore, it can fight against infections. Hence, the main difference between immunocompromised and immunocompetent is the immune system’s functionality.
1. Heather L. Brannon, M. (2022, June 17). What being immunocompetent actually means for your immune system. Verywell Health.
- “Symptoms of AIDS” By Mikael Häggström – Own Work (CC0) via Anatomy tool
- “Proposed pathways of interaction between transplanted hESC derivatives and the immune system” By Drukker, M. – Own Work (CC-BY 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia