Answer to Question #161406 in Microbiology for Shanaya Fernandes

Question #161406

explain effectiveness and efficiency of the specific and non-specific defences.

Expert's answer

In specific immune defenses, responses are usually triggered by antigens that are specific to the pathogen. The body's immune system responds to these antigens by producing special proteins called antibodies that attach to an antigen and attract phagocytic cells that engulfs and destroy the pathogen.

The non-specific defense is the defense system with which one is born with. It protects the body against all antigens. It consists of barriers that keep pathogens from entering your body. The defense mechanisms include physical barriers such as the skin, chemical barriers such as antimicrobial proteins that harm or destroy invaders, and cells such as macrophages, the natural killer cells that attack foreign cells and body cells harboring infectious agents.

Non-specific defenses respond to infections in two phases: acute-phase response and the inflammation response, which can eliminate infection or hold it in check until specific, acquired immune responses have time to develop. Non-specific defenses occur more rapidly than acquired immune responses do, but they do not provide lasting immunity to specific pathogens.

Specific immune responses are facilitated by lymphocytic cells that have the memory of the infection. Lymphocytes are able to recognize pathogen cells by means of receptor molecules. This facilitates antibody production to protect the body.

Nonspecific defense repels all pathogens, while the specific immune defenses are tailored to particular types of invaders. Both systems work together to prevent pathogens from entering and proliferating within the body.

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