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Gaceta Médica Espirituana

versión On-line ISSN 1608-8921

Gac Méd Espirit vol.25 no.1 Sancti Spíritus ene.-abr. 2023  Epub 01-Abr-2023



Immunology, the science of life

Valia Concepción Concepción Ulloa1  *

Cándido Marcos León Márquez1

1Hospital Provincial General Camilo Cienfuegos de Sancti Spíritus, Cuba.

Immunology is a science that allows the biological integrity and homeostasis of the organism, through the development of the innate and adaptive immune response, with the goal of tolerating one's own and recognizing external and internal aggressions; 1) the World Health Organization defines it as a discipline that deals with the study, diagnosis and treatment of patients with diseases of the immune system. 2

World Immunology Day, created by the International Union of Immunological Societies (IUIS) to disseminate and promote the importance of this specialty, is celebrated on April 29, and since 2005 has been organized by the European Federation of Immunological Societies (EFIS). In Cuba, it has been celebrated for several years by agreement among the Cuban Society of Immunology, the National Group of Immunology of Minsap and the Institute of Hematology and Immunology. 2

The first steps of immunology as a science are related to the development of vaccines based on the inoculation of microorganisms that cause different diseases. Although the earliest evidence of the practice comes from China, it was not until 1796 that the English physician Edward Jenner developed the first vaccine to prevent smallpox. Nowadays, it has contributed to the advancement of scientific knowledge in the area of human and animal health 3 and is the medical specialty with the highest number of Nobel Prizes awarded due to its great discoveries. 4,5

Cuban immunology has influenced the social and human development of the country and other nations since the colonial period; The first immunological procedure used in Cuba was variolation on December 29, 1789, and the first successful administration of smallpox vaccine occurred in Santiago de Cuba on January 12, 1804, and on February 11, 1804, Tomás Romay began the free extension of immunization on the island. 6

In Cuba, immunology has been at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19, and its contribution has been essential to the success of this fight for life, through the design and development of Cuban vaccines and the evaluation of their immunogenicity. Three vaccines, two vaccine candidates, and all children over 2 years of age have been immunized, placing Cuba in a leading position worldwide. 7).

The Sancti Spíritus Chapter of the Cuban Society of Immunology was founded on the initiative of Dr. David Luna Gonzalez with the support of Dr. C. Oliver Pérez Martín; since its beginnings, the Chapter has been dedicated to research, teaching and specialized medical aid, training competent professionals to perform the most noble task in Cuba and the rest of the world, to promote health, to diagnose immune deficiencies and autoimmune diseases, to prescribe timely treatment and to rehabilitate the patient.

This specialty is a science that grows with each adverse condition, as demonstrated during the pandemic when it provided the first Latin American vaccine with an efficacy of 92.28%. It ranges from the classroom to the laboratory, from the knowledge to the practice, from the idea to the experiment, from the molecular to the systemic.


1. Pérez O, Lastre M. Necesidad imperiosa de incrementar los conocimientos sobre inmunología, una alerta para Centroamérica. Alerta (Revista Científica del Instituto Nacional de Salud) [Internet]. 2018 [citado 2 Ene 2023];1(2):91-5. Disponible en: Disponible en: ]

2. Macías Abraham C. 29 de abril: día mundial de la inmunología. Rev cubana hematol inmunol hemoter [Internet]. 2017 [citado 2 Ene 2023];33(2). Disponible en: Disponible en: ]

3. Universidad Nacional de Cuyo (UNCuyo) [Internet]. Día internacional de la inmunología. Mendoza: UNCuyo; 2022 [citado 2 Ene 2023]. Disponible en: Disponible en: ]

4. Perdomo de Ponce D. Día Internacional de la Inmunología 29 de abril de 2019. Gac Méd Caracas [Internet]. 2019 [citado 2 ene 2023];127(2):103-7. Disponible en: Disponible en: ]

5. Perdomo de Ponce D. Premio Nobel de Fisiología o Medicina 2016. Gac Méd Caracas [Internet]. 2016 [citado 2 de Ene de 2023];124(4):295-7. Disponible en: Disponible en: ]

6. Serrano-Barrera O. Historia de la Inmunología en Cuba del siglo xv hasta mediados del siglo XIX. Rev cubana hematol inmunol hemoter [Internet]. 2017 [citado 2 ene 2023];33(2). Disponible en: Disponible en: ]

7. Ministerio de Salud Pública. La Inmunología: vital en el diagnóstico y tratamiento de múltiples enfermedades [Internet]. La Habana: Minsap; 2022 [citado 2 Ene 2023]. Disponible en: Disponible en:,calidad%20de%20vida%20de%20laLinks ]

Received: February 12, 2023; Accepted: March 03, 2023

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