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Subject - Immunology

The immune system is the complex functional system responsible for maintaining the body’s integrity by fending off foreign bodies (antigens) and continually eliminating anomalous cells.

The immune system involves six main components, i.e. various cells and molecules distributed throughout the entire organism – granulocytes, monocytes/macrophages, lymphocytes (B cells, T cells), immunoglobulins (antibodies), complement proteins (complement system), and cytokines.

In an immune reaction (immune response), all of the system components work together: While granulocytes, macrophages, the complement system, and cytokines mediate the unspecific, innate immune reaction, the specific, acquired or adaptive immune response is tied primarily to the memory B and T cells of the lymphocytes, as well as the immunoglobulins. Their reactions underpin a life-long recognition and selection process triggered by 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.