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The Immune System

The human immune system is an amazing protection mechanism. The immune system is complex, intricate and interesting. It is designed to defend you against millions of bacteria, microbes, viruses, toxins and parasites that invades your body.

The immune system is made up of a network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to protect the body. The cells involved are white blood cells, or leukocytes, which come in two basic types that combine to seek out and destroy disease causing organisms or substances.

Detection is complicated as pathogens can multiply rapidly, producing adaptations that avoid the immune system and allow the pathogens to successfully infect your body. It detects a wide variety of agents, from viruses to parasitic worms, and needs to distinguish them from the organism's own healthy cells and tissues in order to function properly. The system is remarkably effective, most of the time.

It is just plain fascinating to understand where things like fevers, hives, inflammation, come from when they happen inside your own body.

An antigen is any substance that elicits an immune response, from a virus to a sliver. When antigens (foreign substances that invade the body) are detected, several types of cells work together to recognize them and respond. For the immune system to work properly, two things must happen: first, the body must recognize that it has been invaded, either by pathogens or toxins or by some other outside threat. Second, the immune response must be activated quickly, before the invaders destroy many body tissue cells.

Inflammation is one of the first responses of the immune system to infection. The symptoms of inflammation are redness and swelling, which are caused by increased blood flow into a tissue.

The immune system offer the body protection against disease. This protection is called immunity.

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