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How the immune system functions

How the immune system functions - How the immune system...

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How the immune system functions This article is a short guide to how the immune system functions. Introduction What is Immunity? Immunity is defined as the body’s ability to resist infection. It is dependent on two elements: Recognition of the pathogen as non-self via cellular receptors binding ligands derived from the pathogen Elimination by effector mechanisms activated in receptor-bearing cells as a consequence of the recognition Pathogen Recognition Immunity There are 2 modes of recognition: through receptors which bind molecules characteristic of broad classes of micro-organism - pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs); through receptors which bind molecules - antigens - specific for individual species of micro- organisms PAMP Recognition Important PAMPs include: o lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and other bacterial cell wall components; o unmethylated CpG DNA found in bacteria; o double stranded RNA from viruses.
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