Non - of pathogens into the body. The keratinocytes of the...

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Non-Specific Immunity In order to effectively maintain homeostasis, the body must prevent infection by foreign pathogens . Non-specific defenses are effective against a wide range of pathogens and require no prior exposure to the pathogen to be effective. The skin and mucous membranes serve as external barriers that block the entry of pathogens into the body. If invasion or damage does occur, an individual's innate immune system attempts to limit the spread and/or destroy the invaders with phagocytotic cells, antimicrobial proteins, inflammation and fever. External Barriers The best defense against infection is avoiding exposure. The skin is designed to prevent the entry
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Unformatted text preview: of pathogens into the body. The keratinocytes of the skin produces the hard, water-proof protein keratin. The skin is relatively dry and nutrient-poor and perspiration creates an acid mantle on the surface of the skin. Dendritic cells within the epidermis act as phagocytes and resident neutrophils produce defensins to destroy microorganisms. The mucous membranes contain mucus that traps pathogens. Many mucous membranes also produce lysozyme to destroy invading bacteria. The digestive and genitourinary systems prevent microbe invasion with similar methods -- production of mucus and lysozyme and increased acidity. (See Figure 2) Figure 2...
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This note was uploaded on 01/30/2012 for the course BSC BSC1085 taught by Professor Sharonsimpson during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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