Medical Definition of Passive immunity

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Passive immunity: Immunity produced by the transfer to one person of antibodies that were produced by another person. Protection from passive immunity diminishes in a relatively short time, usually a few weeks or months. For example, antibodies passed from the mother to the baby before birth confer passive immunity to the baby for the first 4-6 months of life.

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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