Innate Immune Response

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An innate immune response is a non-specific, quick response produced by the body when it encounters a pathogen. It is the body's first line of defence. In vertebrates (and invertebrates) it is induced by Toll or Toll-like receptors.[1] The cells involved in the innate immune response are as follows; monocytes which develop into macrophages, neutrophils, basophils and natural killer cells. Each cell type performs a different function for example macrophages are involved in the phagocytosis of foreign elements within the blood where as basophils release histamine when they encounter allergens. [2] The cells of the innate immune system initiate the adaptive immune response, which takes 4-7 days to start, therefore innate immunity is crucial at this time to help fight infections. [3]


  1. Alan Aderem, Richard J. Ulevitch (17 August 2000) Nature 406, 782-787
  2. Merck Sharp, Dohme Corp (2016) Merck and Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA
  3. Janeway CA Jr, Travers P, Walport M, et al (2001) Immunobiology: The Immune System in Health and Disease, 5th edition, New York: Garland Science
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