Non-specific response


  • Fever
  • Inflammation
  • Phagocytosis
  • Interferons
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Occurs when an infection is relatively localised.

  • Mast cells and white blood cells release histamines.
  • The histamines cause the blood vessels to dilate = LOCAL HEAT and REDNESS
  • The locally raised temperature reduces the effectiveness of pathogen reproduction in the area
  • The capillary walls become more permeable
  • Plasma, white blood cells and antibodies are forced out of the capillaries, causing SWELLING and PAIN.
  • White blood cells and antibodies destroy the pathogens
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The hypothalamus maintains a normal body temperature. When a pathogen infects the body. The hypothalamus rests to a higher body temperature.

This helps combat infection in two ways:

  • Reduces pathogen reproduction
  • The specific response works better at higher temperatures

If the body temperature rises oo much, enzymes will denature = permanent tissue damage

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Two types of white blood cells: GRANULOCYTES and AGRANULOCYTES.

Main types of phagocytes:

  • NEUTROPHILS: granulocytes, make up 70% of white blood cells
  • MACROPHAGES: agranulocytes, make of 4%

They accumulate at the sie of infection to attack invading pathogens.

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These are proteins that inhibit viral replication within the cells.

Effective against viruses ONLY.

  • An interferon diffuses from the cell where it was made into the surrounding cells.
  • It binds to receptors in the surface membranes of uninfected cells
  • Stimulates a pathway which makes the cells more  resistant to infection by viruses by preventing viral  reproduction
  • Prevents the infection of more cells when viruses break out of the first cell.
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