adaptive immunity

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  • Created by: Sophie
  • Created on: 01-05-13 13:48
  • Adaptive Immunity

Not present from birth 


Becomes more efficient on subsequent exposure to the same pathogens

Responds to pathogens but not to own cells

It knows if the body has previously encountered the pathogen

It involves: Immunological recognition, self/non-self discrimination, immunological specificity, immunological memory

  • Lymphocytes

Have the capacity to recognise pathogens

2 main types: T-cells (mature in thymus) and B cells (mature in bone marrow)

These 2 types of lymphocytes are used in 3 ways to fight infection:

1. Elimination of extracellular pathogens directly
2. Elimination of pathogens which survive after phagocytosis by macrophages
3. Elimination of pathogens which infect non-immune cells

1. Elimination of extracellular microorganisms directly

In response to infection B-cells mature into plasma cells

These are transported around the body in blood plasma and the lymphatic system

Plasma cells secrete antibodies (soluble recognition molecules)

Antibody recognises structures, or epitopes, on the surface of pathogens (proteins, carbohydrates or lipids)

Antibody is soluble and diffuses to target microorganisms

Binding of antibody to


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