Book : Human Biology
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Posted by: CHELSEA
posted by
Writer CHELSEA

The immune system

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Overview

The immune system is a complex system that is responsible for protecting us against infections and foreign substances. There are three lines of defense: the first is to keep invaders out (through skin, mucus membranes, etc), the second line of defense consists of non-specific ways to defend against pathogens that have broken through the first line of defense (such as with inflammatory response and fever). The third line of defense is mounted against specific pathogens that are causing disease (B cells produce antibodies against bacteria or viruses in the extracellular fluid, while T cells kill cells that have become infected). The immune system is closely tied to the lymphatic system, with B and T lymphocytes being found primarily within lymph nodes. Tonsils and the thymus gland are also considered lymph organs and are involved in immunity. We often don't realize how effective the immune system is until it fails or malfunctions, such as when the lymphocytes are attacked by HIV in an AIDS patient.




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