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Adaptive and Innate Immune Systems – Lesson Summary

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Innate Immunity
Innate Immunity refers to nonspecific defense mechanisms that come into play immediately or within hours of an antigen's appearance in the body. Innate Immunity is also called Natural or Native Immunity and provides the first line of defense against any microbial infection in the human body.

The main components of Innate Immune System are:
Barriers
Scavenger cells
Complement system
Cytokines
Chemical mediators of inflammation

Inflammation
Inflammation is the migration of leukocytes, plasma proteins, and blood to the area of a breach. They are recruited to the site of injury and destroy the evading pathogens by the help of cytokines and phagocytic cells.


Adaptive Immunity
Adaptive Immunity is an immunity that occurs after exposure to an antigen either from a pathogen or a vaccination. This part of the immune system is activated when the innate immune response is insufficient to control an infection.
The most characteristic feature of Adaptive Immunity is memory against the repetitive exposure of the same pathogen. Furthermore, it can distinguish between fine differences among microbes and hence also called Specific Immunity.

Humoral Immunity
Humoral Immune Responses are mediated by the antibodies which are produced by activated B cells. Antibodies recognize the microbial antigen, neutralize the infectivity, and target the microbes to other effector systems for degradation.
Humoral Immunity is the major type of immune response against extracellular microbes and toxins because the secreted form of the antibody can easily bind and eliminate the microbes and toxins.

Effector Cells
Effector Cells of the immune system mainly include activated T lymphocytes, mononuclear phagocytes, and other leukocytes. Effector cells are required to complete the immune cascade for eliminating the microbes.