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What is Immune System Health?
- Immunity is a complicated biological process that possesses mechanisms of protection and classification. It has two major subdivisions, such as the innate or nonspecific immune system and the adaptive or specific immune system.
- The adaptive immune system and the innate immune system have their own subdivisions.
Immunity is a vital ability of the human body. It is not possible to overestimate its importance. Even when epidemics swept the planet, not all people got sick. They didn’t know for sure why it happened, but it was noticed that those people who didn’t contract a disease had been ill with the disease before.
The word immunity comes from the Latin word immunis. It means exemption from taxes or military service. This term referred to some citizens of the Roman Empire who were exempt from some public services. Today, when we say immunity, we imply the ability of the human body to protect itself from different microbes, viruses and so on. This is a very simple description of course, which gives only a general idea.
Moreover, immunity is a complicated biological process that possesses mechanisms of protection and classification. It has two major subdivisions, such as the innate or nonspecific immune system and the adaptive or specific immune system. The innate immune system can be compared to a first line of defense. When hostile organisms are trying to invade the body, they are met with the innate immune system.
The second line of defense is represented by the adaptive immune system, which serves as protection against the same pathogen(s) trying to re-invade. These two subdivisions are different but at the same time there is interplay between them.
The adaptive immune system and the innate immune system have their own subdivisions. Adaptive immunity is divided into natural and artificial immunity. Artificial and natural immunity are also divided into two kinds: passive and active immunity. Adaptive immunity is acquired by a person during his or her life. Innate immunity is transferred to a fetus from a mother through the placenta. Natural active immunity is acquired by experiencing a disease, illness or other medical infliction. Artificial passive immunity is acquired by means of antibody transfer. Artificial active immunity is acquired from vaccination.
The immune system reacts in specific ways to parasites, infections and/or foreign components. The following factors, such as environment, inherited genes and acquired characteristics influence the immune system.
The innate immune system doesn’t improve its response to repeated encounters with a pathogen; however, the response of the adaptive immune system is associated with specificity and memory. When re-infection occurs, the adaptive response will perform an enhanced response more rapidly and more intensely. This feature is called immunological memory. By means of this feature, the human immune system understands immediately what invader it is dealing with. Its major purpose is to drive away any foreign agents from the body. When new invaders like viruses or microbes are attacking the body, the body needs to take some time before it can overcome. This is why it is prudent to be vaccinated, even though some people are against vaccination as they think it can cause other problems in the body. Still, traditional medicine is appealing because, by getting vaccinated, the human body is aided in protecting itself from viruses and/or mutated influenza.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
|Immune System Health22 Oct 2008|