We don’t constantly fall sick, though we are attacked by harmful diseases caused bacterias and viruses in our daily life. That is because the immune system works together and provides defense against infection. The cells and the proteins collaborate with the immune system and are guided throughout the body to fight against any infection. The immune system destroys the antigens found in drugs, chemicals, and other foreign particles.
INNATE IMMUNE RESPONSE: Innate immune response is the first to attack against any infection. They are prominent and they don’t need any training as they rely on the cells, which include neutrophils, monocytes, natural killer and the set of proteins. Innate immune response happens naturally and they in fact alert and trigger the adaptive response. Even an infant has an innate immune response and it happens to be the most prominent one.
ADAPTIVE IMMUNE RESPONSE: Adaptive immune response happens with the help of T cells and B cells and these require a training in not attacking their own cells. At the same time, adaptive response once gained experience has the ability to alert and fight against the new germs. T cells are said to remember the viruses that have encountered the body earlier and it fights much more vigorous when the body has infected again with the same virus.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
When antigens enter the body, the cells work together and alert the B lymphocytes about the presence of antigens. The B lymphocytes produce the antibodies and these antibodies stays in the person’s body so that he doesn’t get infected with the same antigen again. The destruction of the antigen happens only with the help of T cells, and hence T cells are called as killer cells.
IMMUNITY ACQUIRED AND NATURAL
T and B cells become the memory cells, where they recognize the antigen which has previously attacked the body and hence they have acquired the immunity to demolish it back again when the same antigen visits the body again.
It is also said immunity is also influenced by inherited genes and the response to the antigens varies from person to person.
An immune response is also influenced by immunization with vaccines, where the vaccines contain the micro organisms which can provoke an immune response.
Immunity is also transferred via injection, antiserum, when injected, protects the body as it is rich in antibodies.
Infants though born with a weak immune response are naturally protected with the antibodies they gained from their mother before birth. Even breast milk contains the needed antibodies.
DISORDERS OF THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
THERE ARE CERTAIN DISORDERS THAT HAPPEN WHEN THE IMMUNE SYSTEM FAILS:
ALLERGIC DISEASES: Immune system respond to a false alarm where even the harmless material like grass pollen and dust are found as life threatening infection and are attacked.
IMMUNE COMPLEXES:This is where the antibodies and antigens get interlocked, circulate throughout the body and get trapped in kidney, lungs or blood vessels. This might lead to inflammation and tissue damage.
IMMUNODEFICIENCY DISORDER: When the immune system fails, it leads to immunodeficiency which can affect any part of the body, HIV infection, and Malnutrition develops the complications due to immunodeficiency.
Adopting a healthy lifestyle, eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, controlling the blood pressure, and adequate sleep maintains a healthy immune system.