By Dr. T. M. Edah
Do you know that your immune system consists of two separate elements? Each one of these components has its own purpose and way of working. It’s important for you to understand these differences so that you may have an idea of how your immune system works.
Innate and Adaptive Immunity
The two categories of your immune system are called the innate immunity and the adaptive immunity. They are both necessary to fight off potential diseases. They also have the task of preventing diseases from getting a foothold. Being aware of how they function helps you to understand how your immune system protects you from disease.
Your innate immunity is your first line of defense. It does not allow pathogens to make their way into your body in the first place. Your innate immunity does not go after any particular type of pathogen.
The innate immunity is often non-specific in nature. It targets whatever it perceives shouldn’t be in your body instead of chasing after a specific type of pathogen. Your skin and hair are two significant parts of your innate immunity that you should be familiar with.
Your skin is important because it acts a barrier between your body and the outside world. The skin does a great job in keeping out things that could get into your body. Your hair also performs an important role. It traps different types of micro-organisms. It’s therefore essential that you wash it frequently so that it is clean all the time.
If your hair is long, it’s advisable never put it into your mouth, bite or chew it. You never know what kind of bad microorganisms your hair may have trapped. You do not want these to get into your mouth.
Then, there is the mucus which also forms part of your innate immunity. Mucus will trap micro-organisms as well. It will trap harmful bacteria before they are able to reach your respiratory system. Mucus is responsible for your development of a cough before getting very sick. After the immune system had fought with germs, coughing is an attempt to remove dead cells and debris left behind.
You have a number of cells that try to destroy any foreign body that shouldn’t be in your body. Your adaptive immunity responds when it discovers a problematic threat in your body.
This aspect of your immune system will specialize in eliminating sickness through a variety of methods. It could be by opening up a membrane or simply taking it and flushing it out of your system.
The most common examples of your adaptive immunity are T cells and B cells. These cells have memories and will recognize foreign bodies that they have fought in the past.
This is great because they will know how to fight against them if they appear again. When these cells detect a threat, they try to identify it so they can determine what to do to eliminate it.