Do You Know How Your Body Fights Infections?
The immune system provides Anti-infective defenses. To keep us healthy, the immune system (it-MYOON) fights infections.
What Are the Immune System’s Elements?
A network of cells and organs protects the body. White blood cells, also known as leukocytes (LOO-Kuh-sites), play a critical function in the immune system.
Phomocytes (FAH-guh-sites) are white blood cells that devour invaders. Other cells, referred to as lymphocytes (LIM-Fuh-sytes), aid the body in recalling and eliminating foreign invaders.
The neutrophil (NOO-truth-fil) is a phagocyte that attacks germs. Doctors can request a blood test to detect if a bacterial infection has caused the body to produce a lot of neutrophils. Various other phagocyte kinds perform their functions to ensure the body’s response to intruders.
B lymphocytes and T lymphocytes are the two main subtypes of lymphocytes. B cells and T cells are formed in the bone marrow; however, the thymus gland is where T cells mature. It’s like the body’s military intelligence system — B lymphocytes locate the object of attack and send out defenses to keep it at bay. T cells act as the army’s soldiers, eradicating any intruders the intelligence system identifies as a threat.
Immune System: What Role Does It Play?
To identify and eliminate foreign chemicals (known as antigens), the immune system must first detect them in the body.
Antibodies are made by B lymphocytes when they are activated (also called immunoglobulins). As a result, they bind to certain antigens. Antibodies are normally stored in our bodies if we need to fight the same germs again in the future. That is why it is rare for someone who has had chickenpox to contract the disease again.
Immunizations (vaccines) work similarly to keep some diseases at bay. Immunization is a safe approach to exposing the body to an antigen. Nonetheless, the body can produce antibodies that will help protect the individual from future infections.
Even though antibodies are capable of binding to and destroying an antigen, they cannot do so on their own. That’s what the T cells are there for. They eliminate antigens that have been marked by antibodies, as well as contaminated or altered cells. A subset of T cells is referred to as “killer cells.” T cells also serve as a signaling mechanism for other cells (such as phagocytes) to go to work.
Additionally, antibodies may be able to help:
protect yourself and the environment against the harmful effects of various organisms’ poisons
- To activate the immune system, start a protein group called complement. Complement helps kill bacteria, viruses, and other infections.
- To protect against disease, the body relies on these specialized cells and immune system components, and immunity is the term for this protection.
Innate, adaptive, and passive immunity all exist in humans.
- Innate (or natural) immunity is inherited, which serves as a broad defense against disease. When it comes to preventing pathogens from entering the body, the skin is a good example. As a result, the immune system can distinguish which invaders are foreign and pose a threat.
- Our immune systems become more adaptive (or active) as we get older. We build adaptive immunity when we are exposed to pathogens or are immunized against them.
- This immunity is “borrowed” and only lasts a short time, making it a form of passive immunity. For example, antibodies found in a mother’s breast milk can protect her baby from the diseases she has been exposed to.
Vaccines are necessary because the immune system takes time to mature. As a parent, it is your responsibility to ensure that your child receives all required immunizations.