Compare and contrast how foreign antigens are recognised by the innate and the adaptive immunity - Essay Example

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If our body did not have an apt mechanism to tackle the incoming stream of foreign antigens we would soon have become victims of various harmful…
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Compare and contrast how foreign antigens are recognised by the innate and the adaptive immunity
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Download file to see previous pages The innate immunity system is composed of four main components each of which contains a large number of different types of cells. These four main components are: Phagocytes, Interferon, Compliment system and Natural Killer cells. The innate immunity is non-specific and targets every foreign antigen that it is exposed to. Also the response to these foreign antigens is very rapid. Mast cells of the innate immunity system release histamine which causes inflammation and dilation of the capillaries to allow the needed action. Adaptive immunity also aims to protect the body against infectious particles however the mode of action and the components involved are quite different from that of innate immunity. The adaptive immunity is very specific recognizing and acting against a specific antigen. The response against the antigen is quite slow when compared with the innate immunity and there is a time delay between the onset of antigens and the action taken by the adaptive immunity. The action however is targeted and once it is taken, it leads to rapid removal of antigens from the body.
In both the innate and the adaptive immunity, the response to the foreign antigens takes place in two phases: the activation phase and the effector phase. The activation phase is very similar in both of these systems. During the activation phase, antigens are presented by the Major histocompatibility complexes to the T-cells. In the innate immunity the antigen is presented to the cytotoxic T cell which after recognizing the signal proliferates and produces perforin in order to lyse the infected cell. On the other hand, in the adaptive immunity, the antigens are presented to T-helper cells. The helper cells release cytokines which allow it to proliferate into clones. These clones then act on individual B-cells which cause them to proliferate and differentiate into either plasma cells or memory cells.
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