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Hypersensitivity

by Greg Crowther


Context

Hypersensitivity is a condition of the immune system in which the immune response to an antigen is exaggerated and causes tissue damage. As noted by Amerman's Human Anatomy & Physiology textbook (2016), "There are four types of hypersensitivity disorder (numbered I-IV) that are classified according to the exact immune components causing the hypersensitivity."

The song can be sung as a call-and-response, with each line being delivered first by a soloist and then as a choral "echo." Alternatively, it can be performed by a soloist in the style of Prince, with the high notes ("-ty" and "me") delivered in a shrill shriek or squawk to convey a vibe of hypersensitivity.


Lyrics

CHORUS:
Hypersensitivity!
NOT immune deficiency.
Antigens provoking me!
Four steps: learn 'em, 1-2-3!

Type I is due to IgE;
Type II is due to antibodies.
Immune complexes cause type III;
Type IV is due to T-cell follies....

CHORUS


Other Files

sheet music (with melody play-back)


Lesson Plan

Songs like this one can be used during class meetings and/or in homework assignments. Either way, the song will be most impactful if students DO something with it, as opposed to just listening.

An initial, simple follow-up activity could be to answer the study questions below. A more extensive interaction with the song might entail (A) learning to sing it, using the audio file and/or sheet music as a guide, or (B) designing kinesthetic movements ("dance moves") to embody it. The latter activity should begin with students identifying the most important or most challenging content of the song, and deciding how to illustrate that particular content.


Study Questions

(1) In general terms, explain how hypersensitivity is different from immune deficiency.

(2) The lyrics state, "Type II is due to antibodies." Is type II hypersensitivity the only type that involves antibodies? Briefly explain.

(3) Which of these 4 types can result from autoimmune disorders?

(Answers may be found on the answers page.)