The Immune System: The Immune System

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The immune system utilizes its biological responses to protect the body from infection and disease. It's critical mechanisms allow for the rapid sensing and elimination of microbes that can harm your body. When a virus invades your body the immune system enforces a complex process to remove it. Your body carries out this process by identifying the virus, activating the immune system, and by restraining and eliminating the virus. When dealing with intruders, the body recruits relies on the adaptive immune system. The adaptive immune system is a type of immunity that relies on “an antigen-specific response” when it encounters microorganisms so that it can destroy the intruder (Hendry, et al. 38). Two different aspects of adaptive immunity are…show more content…
At the start of this step B lymphocytes have already become activated and are now beginning to flood the bloodstream with free floating antibodies. However, to destroy the virus the body needs to activate other white blood cells. White blood cell activation can happen a number of ways. Some white blood cells such as macrophages, phagocytes, and B lymphocytes can easily recognize invaders and become activated (Delves). However, killer and helper T cells cannot identify foreign cells unless they receive help from other cells. T cells are activated either by antigen-presenting cells, or from the chemical signals that come from other cells (Delves). This happens when the antigen-presenting cells, give the antigen fragments to T cells after they are broken down, or when free floating antibodies from the B lymphocytes attract the T cells to the virus’s colonizing site (Hendry, et al. 39). The activation of both killer and helper T cells, enables the body’s adaptive immunity response to reach full potential, resulting in the increase of the rate and intensity of the response (Hendry, et al. 40). With the immune system activated and working at its maximum potential, the body can now move on to the third and final step in this process, restraining and eliminating the…show more content…
Restraining the virus is done in two ways, either by macrophages and phagocytes, or by killer T cells. Macrophages and phagocytes both contain the virus by engulfing and breaking them down with the help of enzymes and lysosomes (Delves). Killer T cells “recognize antigens from the pathogen” and kills the cell by inducing apoptosis, thus “preventing the spread of the infection to neighboring cells” (Mayer, Nyland). Killer T cells also immobilize infected cells by injecting a substance called perforin, which enters the wall of the infected cell and makes a hole, causing the cell to leak fluids and electrolytes and ultimately lead to their death (Menche, et al). Antibodies also play a vital role in the neutralizing viruses. Menche et, al. explains that antibodies can neutralize pathogens by “attach[ing] directly to the surface of a virus… and stop the pathogen from attaching itself to a normal body cell and infecting it”. After successfully obliterating the virus, the T helper cells activate a regulatory T cell by releasing hormones known as lymphokines. These hormones are responsible for regulating the immune system. After a virus is destroyed, regulatory t cells reduce the activity levels of B lymphocytes and other T cells by releasing their own set of lymphokines, called suppressor factors. The immune system is a formidable system, consisting of multiple intricate parts. These parts

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