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14: Specific Adaptive Host Defenses

  • Page ID
    31863
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    • 14.1: Architecture of the Immune System
      Adaptive immunity is defined by two important characteristics: specificity and memory. Specificity refers to the adaptive immune system’s ability to target specific pathogens, and memory refers to its ability to quickly respond to pathogens to which it has previously been exposed. For example, when an individual recovers from chickenpox, the body develops a memory of the infection that will specifically protect it from the causative agent if it is exposed to the virus again later.
    • 14.2: T Lymphocytes and Cellular Immunity
      Pathogens that have already gained entry to host cells are largely protected from the humoral antibody-mediated defenses. Cellular immunity, on the other hand, targets and eliminates intracellular pathogens through the actions of T lymphocytes, or T cells.
    • 14.3: B Lymphocytes and Humoral Immunity
      The antibodies involved in humoral immunity often bind pathogens and toxins before they can attach to and invade host cells. Thus, humoral immunity is primarily concerned with fighting pathogens in extracellular spaces.
    • 14.4: Vaccines
      By artificially stimulating the adaptive immune defenses, a vaccine triggers memory cell production similar to that which would occur during a primary response. In so doing, the patient is able to mount a strong secondary response upon exposure to the pathogen—but without having to first suffer through an initial infection. In this section, we will explore several different kinds of artificial immunity along with various types of vaccines and the mechanisms that they induce artificial immunity.
    • 14.5: Practical Applications of Monoclonal and Polyclonal Antibodies
      In addition to being crucial for our normal immune response, antibodies provide powerful tools for research and diagnostic purposes. The high specificity of antibodies makes them an excellent tool for detecting and quantifying a broad array of targets, from drugs to serum proteins to microorganisms. With in vitro assays, antibodies can be used to precipitate soluble antigens, agglutinate cells, and neutralize drugs, toxins, and viruses.
    • Chapter 14 Exercises

    Thumbnail: From left to right: erythrocyte ,platelet and lymphocyte. (Public Domain; The National Cancer Institute at Frederick ).


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