Resistance vs. Immunity: What's the Difference?
Resistance refers to the ability to fight off or withstand something, often partially or temporarily, while immunity implies a complete, often permanent, inability to get a specific disease or be affected by a particular agent.
Resistance is the ability of an organism to counteract the effects of an adverse agent partially or temporarily. Immunity, on the other hand, signifies a more complete protection against a particular agent, often permanent in nature.
In the context of diseases, resistance often means that an individual might still contract an illness but experience milder symptoms. Immunity, however, implies that the individual will not contract the disease at all.
The mechanisms behind resistance can be genetic, physiological, or developed through exposure. Immunity usually involves the immune system's specific response to a previously encountered pathogen, resulting in lasting protection.
In social and legal contexts, resistance refers to opposition against a force or system, whereas immunity refers to an exemption from certain laws or obligations.
While resistance often requires continuous exposure or effort to maintain, immunity is generally long-lasting and requires less maintenance.
Partial or temporary ability to withstand
Complete, often permanent, protection
Biological, social, mechanical, electrical
Partial or temporary
Complete and often permanent
Can be genetic, physiological, or acquired
Usually involves specific immune response
May require ongoing effort or exposure
Generally long-lasting, less maintenance
Resistance and Immunity Definitions
Opposition to a force or influence.
The resistance movement fought against the dictatorship.
Protection against a specific disease.
Vaccination provides immunity against measles.
The ability to withstand adverse conditions.
The plant shows resistance to drought.
Diplomatic immunity protects ambassadors from prosecution.
His emotional resistance helped him during hard times.
Her mental immunity helped her cope with stress.
The act or an instance of resisting or the capacity to resist.
His popularity gave him a certain immunity in the community.
A force that tends to oppose or retard motion.
The quality or condition of being immune
“His above-average size during adolescence did not purchase immunity from the depredations of school bullies” (Stephen S. Hall).
Often Resistance An underground organization engaged in a struggle for national liberation in a country under military or totalitarian occupation.
(Immunology) Inherited, acquired, or induced resistance to infection by a specific pathogen.
(Psychology) A process in which the ego opposes the conscious recall of anxiety-producing experiences.
Exemption from certain generally applicable requirements of law or from certain liabilities, granted to special groups of people to facilitate the performance of their public functions
Ability (of an organism, tissue, or cell) to withstand a destructive agent or condition such as a chemical compound, a disease agent, or an environmental stressor
Resistance to fungal diseases.
Exemption from prosecution granted to a witness to compel that witness to give potentially self-incriminating testimony that otherwise could not be compelled because of the constitutional right against self-incrimination.
Lack of normal response to a biologically active compound such as a hormone
Exemption from being sued
(Electricity) The opposition of a body or substance to current passing through it, resulting in a change of electrical energy into heat or another form of energy.
A condition conferred upon a contestant that prevents that contestant from being eliminated from a competition for a certain time period
The winner of the challenge was given immunity for the following challenge.
(uncountable) The state of being insusceptible to something; notably:
The act of resisting, or the capacity to resist.
Widespread resistance to the new urban development plans
The resistance of bacteria to certain antibiotics
(medicine) protective resistance against disease.
Some people have better immunity to diseases than others.
(physics) A force that tends to oppose motion.
(law) An exemption from specified duties, such as payments or services.
Feudal privileges often included tax and other immunities.
(physics) electrical resistance.
(law) An exemption from prosecution.
The prosecutor offered the lieutenant immunity for all the crimes he would testify having known to be planned by the elusive drug baron.
An underground organisation engaged in a struggle for liberation from forceful occupation; a resistance movement.
(religion) An exemption from penance.
The act of resisting; opposition, passive or active.
When King Demetrius saw that . . . no resistance was made against him, he sent away all his forces.
(in games and competitions) An exemption given to a player from losing or being withdrawn from play.
After winning the last round the player was granted immunity which allowed him to stay in the game even after receiving the fewest points.
The quality of not yielding to force or external pressure; that power of a body which acts in opposition to the impulse or pressure of another, or which prevents the effect of another power; as, the resistance of the air to a body passing through it; the resistance of a target to projectiles.
(countable) A resistance to a specific thing.
Superbugs are bacteria that develop an immunity to antibiotics.
A means or method of resisting; that which resists.
Unfold to us some warlike resistance.
Freedom or exemption from any charge, duty, obligation, office, tax, imposition, penalty, or service; a particular privilege; as, the immunities of the free cities of Germany; the immunities of the clergy.
A certain hindrance or opposition to the passage of an electrical current or discharge offered by conducting bodies. It bears an inverse relation to the conductivity, - good conductors having a small resistance, while poor conductors or insulators have a very high resistance. The unit of resistance is the ohm.
Freedom; exemption; as, immunity from error.
The action of opposing something that you disapprove or disagree with;
He encountered a general feeling of resistance from many citizens
Despite opposition from the newspapers he went ahead
The state of being insusceptible to disease, certain poisons, etc.
Any mechanical force that tends to retard or oppose motion
The state of not being susceptible;
Unsusceptibility to rust
A material's opposition to the flow of electric current; measured in ohms
(medicine) the condition in which an organism can resist disease
The military action of resisting the enemy's advance;
The enemy offered little resistance
The quality of being unaffected by something;
Immunity to criticism
(medicine) the condition in which an organism can resist disease
An act exempting someone;
He was granted immunity from prosecution
A secret group organized to overthrow a government or occupation force
Resistance to a poison or toxin.
The king had immunity to the poison.
The degree of unresponsiveness of a disease-causing microorganism to antibiotics or other drugs (as in penicillin-resistant bacteria)
(psychiatry) an unwillingness to bring repressed feelings into conscious awareness
An electrical device that resists the flow of electrical current
Group action in opposition to those in power
This material has high electrical resistance.
Reduced susceptibility to a drug.
The bacteria developed antibiotic resistance.
What is immunity?
Immunity implies complete, often permanent, protection against a specific agent.
Can resistance turn into immunity?
Sometimes, but usually resistance offers only partial or temporary protection.
Is immunity always permanent?
Not necessarily; immunity can wane or be short-lived.
Is resistance always biological?
No, resistance can be mechanical, electrical, or even social.
What is resistance?
Resistance refers to the ability to fight off or withstand something.
Is immunity only biological?
No, immunity can also be legal, like diplomatic immunity.
Can you have resistance to stress?
Yes, psychological resistance to stress is possible.
How is immunity confirmed?
Immunity is often confirmed through tests measuring antibodies or protection against exposure.
Can immunity be artificially induced?
Yes, vaccines are a way to artificially induce immunity.
Is there such a thing as social immunity?
Social immunity can refer to a collective form of protection within a group.
Can animals have resistance and immunity?
Yes, animals can have both biological resistance and immunity to various agents.
Is immunity a right or a privilege?
Immunity is generally considered a biological feature, but in legal terms, it may be a privilege.
Can resistance be a bad thing?
Yes, like in the case of antibiotic resistance.
Is resistance always a conscious act?
No, resistance can be an unconscious biological function.
How is resistance measured?
Resistance can be quantified using various metrics, depending on the context.
Written bySawaira Riaz
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