January 18, 2017

Antibodies – Science

An antibody is a protein created from blood in order to fight against pathogens that have entered the body. Pathogens are microorganisms that enter the body and can cause a disease or infection. A pathogen can be bacteria or virus.

When a bacterium pathogen enter the body it will start producing antigens, which can be toxins, that will start attacking human cells. The body will then react by sending white blood cells. There are two white blood cell groups; phagocytes/macrophages or lymphocytes. These white blood cells will then either ingesting the entire pathogen, release antibodies that will destroy the pathogen or produce antitoxin (another protein) that will balance against toxins released from the pathogens. Phagocytes travel blood vessel walls and make their way to the pathogen. It will then ingest the pathogen it or produce an enzyme that will destroy them. If a phagocyte ingests a pathogen it will then examine it and send a message to the lymphocytes. A lymphocytes releases certain antibodies that will destroy a pathogen. Once received the message the lymphocytes will decide which correct antibody they need to send to attack the pathogen.

If a viral pathogen enters the body then macrophages will be sent out to destroy the germs. Macrophages will either engulf or digest the pathogen. However if the viral infection is strong enough the body will send a much stronger cell called a T Cell that will fight the viral infection. T cells are just another type of lymphocyte cell.

After the pathogen is destroyed, memory cells are created. Memory cells are created so that when the same pathogen reenters the body the memory cell will recognise it and can easily destroy the pathogen much quicker because it will remember what antibody and cells are needed. That is what immunity is. This type of immunity is acquired immunity. Acquired immunity is not inherited but is worked out by your body itself whether the pathogen enters you or you get a vaccination.

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