Immune response

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There are two types of immune response which protect the body against invading micro-organisms such as viruses and bacteria:

The first is innate immune response which begins to target the pathogens as soon as they enter the body.

The second line of defence is the adaptive immune response which is made up of specific antibodies to the Infection which are in the system due to prior exposure to the illness[1].

Clonal selection is the process by which self-antigens are destroyed. Cells of the immune system have unique receptors that only recognise one specific antigen, allowing for the removal/death of any 'self' antigens recognised by randomly produced receptors, during early development. This ensures that the immune system is left with a reduced repertoire of cells that only recognise 'foreign' antigens. At which point an immune response is stimulated, immune cells expand to produce more effector cells or remain as memory cells.


  1. Alberts et al. (2008) Molecular Biology of the Cell. 5th Edition. New York: Garland Science.
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