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Difference Between Adaptive and Innate Immunity

Adaptive Vs Innate Immunity

The human body is a very unique vessel in the sense that it is composed of complex body systems that function altogether in a harmonious manner. An imbalance in even just one system will already lead to the suffering of the entire system. In this regard, there are many factors or agents that cause this imbalance. An imbalance, popularly known as disease, is amazingly fended off by the body itself with the use of its unique lines of biologic defenses (immunities).

There are two types of immunities namely innate and adaptive immunity. By looking into the term itself, you are already given an idea of how each form of immunity differs. The confusion sets in because each term also comes with many other different alternative terms.

Innate is thus an inherent immunity (defense) that is already present at birth. It fends off generic micro-organisms thus preventing their entry into the body system like tissues and cells. By generic, this means that it does not attack any specific organism (general purpose). That’s why innate immunity is also called non specific immunity.

An example of how beautiful the innate immunity operates is exemplified in the skin’s natural action to serve as the first-line barrier against surface microorganisms. Secondly, body secretions contain lysozymes that naturally fight any foreign invaders. Even the coughing and sneezing action is a form of defense mechanism of the body. However, in the case wherein the microorganisms have already entered the system the innate immunity will try its best to handle it before it causes any damage or produce a certain disorder.

To further eliminate any offending microorganism, the body initiates the inflammatory response which involves the release of histamines from mast cells. The result is the recruitment of the body’s normal defenses in the form of phagocytes (leukocytes and neutrophils). These are the prime players in innate immunity.

On the other hand, adaptive immunity is a whole new story. Also known as acquired and specific, this type of immunity involves an immune response. Simply explained, it is when you will no longer be affected by a certain microorganism because it has already infected your body before. This happens because your body has already developed (adapted) to the microorganism with the aid of memory cells. They allow your body to gain a sense of immunity. Moreover, the body will now react to the offending microorganisms by releasing specialized antibodies (lymphocytes). As a result, there is an antigen-antibody reaction.

1. Innate immunity is a non specific type of immunity unlike adaptive immunity (specific).
2. Innate immunity is present at birth while adaptive immunity just got developed after a previous attack from a certain microorganism.
3. Adaptive immunity is a more complicated system because it involves lymphocytes (T cells and memory cells). Innate immunity is faster and much simpler because it only involves macrophages.


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1 Comment

  1. its really good thing that you explain it so beautiful. you must be a very good teacher……..

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