Health Glossary - For Everyone

Immune system
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What is the immune system?

The immune system is a part of the lympatic system which protects the body from disease causing organisms (pathogens). There are many types of pathogens, the most common being viruses and bacteria.

The immune system protects the body from invading pathogens through both (a) non-specific mechanism and (b) specific resistance (immunity).

The immune system is prevents the body from becoming ill and dying from an infection from a pathogen, so has a very important role in the body's defences.


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Important immune system facts

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Why the immune system is important

The immune system is responsible for defending the body from invading pathogens which take any opportunity to infect the body - without the immune system, the body would not survive long.

The immune system consists of the following defence mechanisms:

1. Non-specific defence mechanisms

These are normally the first line of defence in preventing the pathogens from entering the body (or expelling them when they first enters) are

2. Specific resistance (immune response)

This type of defence includes the T lymphocytes (T cells) and the B lymphocytes (B cells), which are all white blood cells. Many pathogens (invading viruses and bacteria) provoke both types of immune responses from both the T cells and the B cells.

The T cells and the B cells provide a specific response to a particular pathogen in a particular way:


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Last reviewed: 30 September 2007 || Last updated: 14 March 2010


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More information

To learn more, go to the following web sites:


NOTE: Mega doses of any type of vitamin, mineral, amino acid or herbal supplement cannot cure illnesses and in fact can be very dangerous and produce toxic side effects and interfere with medicine you are taking. Always ensure you consult your doctor before taking any type of complementary supplements.
Disclaimer: This guide is not intended to be used for diagnostic or prescriptive purposes. For any treatment or diagnosis of illness, please see your doctor.


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