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Subject - Immunology
The term immune response (synonymous with immune reaction) refers to the sum of all molecular and cellular reactions of the immune system to an antigen. Depending on the strength of the antigen stimulus, the breadth of the immune reactions can range from "weak" and barely perceptible to life-threatening anaphylactic shock. An immune response can result from a pathogen as well as from a harmless allergen or a misguided reaction to the body’s own tissue (autoimmune reaction).
The non-specific or innate immune response is the evolutionarily older part of the immune system. It is mediated by granulocytes, macrophages, natural killer cells, the complement system, and cytokines.
The specific, acquired, or adaptive immune response is largely linked to the lymphocytic memory cells. Their reactions underlie a life-long learning and selection process upon contact with antigens.
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Our immune system is acting as a protective shield against infectious agents and microbial invaders. If this defence gets out of control and turns against the body’s own structures it may destroy healthy tissue and organs. The result is an autoimmune disease with severe or even life-threatening complications.