Immune response – Overview
Definition of Immune response:
The immune response is how your body recognizes and defends itself against bacteria, viruses, and substances that appear foreign and harmful to the body.
The immune system protects the body from potentially harmful substances by recognizing and responding to antigens. Antigens are molecules (usually proteins) on the surface of cells, viruses, fungi, or bacteria. Nonliving substances such as toxins, chemicals, drugs, and foreign particles (such as a splinter) can be antigens. The immune system recognizes and destroys substances that contain these antigens.
Innate, or nonspecific, immunity is a defense system that you are born with. It protects you against all antigens. Innate immunity involves barriers that keep harmful materials from entering your body. These barriers form the first line of defense in the immune response. Examples of anatomical innate immunity include:
- Cough reflex
- Enzymes in tears and skin oils
- Mucus, which traps bacteria and small particles
- Stomach acid
Acquired immunity is immunity that develops with exposure to various antigens. Your immune system builds a defense that is specific to that antigen.
Passive immunity involves antibodies that are produced in a body other than your own. Infants have passive immunity because they are born with antibodies that are transferred through the placenta from the mother. These antibodies disappear between 6 and 12 months of age.
The immune system includes certain types of white blood cells. It also includes chemicals and proteins in the blood, such as antibodies, complement proteins, and interferon. Some of these directly attack foreign substances in the body, and others work together to help the immune system cells.
Lymphocytes are white blood cells, which includes B cells and T cells.
- B cells produce antibodies. Antibodies attach to a specific antigen and make it easier for the immune cells to destroy the antigen.
- T cells attack antigens directly and help control of the immune response. They also release chemicals, known as interleukins, which control the entire immune response.
All this controlled by our nervous system.
Just another reason to keep the spine free of subluxations and allow the innate response to work unimpeded.
Everything always works better with an adjustment!