Tags: Health Topics | immune | responses | innate | vs | adaptive

Immune Responses: Innate vs. Adaptive

By    |   Tuesday, 17 May 2016 03:57 PM

The immune system is a complex combination of cells and tissues working together to keep you healthy by protecting the body from foreign bacteria and viruses, sometimes called antigens and pathogens.

There are two main types of immunity: innate and adaptive.

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Innate immunity is already present in the body at birth and is the body’s first line of defense, engaging quickly when needed. Adaptive immunity is created in response to a specific pathogen at the time it enters the body. Because it needs time to recognize the antigen, it can take several days to kick in.

Innate immune mechanisms are nonspecific and they come into play very quickly when an antigen is detected in the body. Even the skin can be considered an innate immune mechanism since it is a protective barrier between the inside of the body and foreign substances, explains the University of Arizona’s Biology Project website.

An educational immunology module from the University of California San Francisco describes the innate immune system as consisting of different components including the skin, specialized white blood cells, plasma proteins, and a special type of cells called natural killer (NK) cells.

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Adaptive immunity is far more complex than innate immunity, says the University of Arizona. It responds by first recognizing and processing antigens. Then, it works to create a specific army of immune cells to ward off that antigen.

The adaptive immune system even has a kind of “memory,” so if the specific antigen is again recognized at a later time, the immune response can be deployed more quickly than before.

Certain types of vaccinations, such as the chicken pox vaccine, engage the adaptive immune system. The vaccine contains a small amount of the antigen which is fought off by the immune system and then “remembered” later so the body can protect itself, says New Health Advisor.

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The immune system is a complex combination of cells and tissues working together to keep you healthy by protecting the body from foreign bacteria and viruses. There are two main types of immunity: innate and adaptive.
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2016-57-17
Tuesday, 17 May 2016 03:57 PM
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