The immune system is a complex network of cells and proteins that defends the body against infection. It is the body’s natural defense system. The immune system keeps a record of every germ (microbe) it has ever encountered by creating antibodies against it so it can recognize and destroy the microbe quickly if it enters the body again. The immune system has many components with white blood cells being the key players. White blood cells move through blood and tissue throughout your body, looking for foreign invaders (microbes) such as bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi. When they find them, they create antibodies that launch an immune attack.
A strong immune system means the body will rarely fall sick because their antibodies will fight any foreign microorganisms in their body. We have different types of immunity and they include:
- Natural Immunity- occurs when a person becomes infected by a disease. For instance, if an individual becomes infected with chickenpox. After the initial infection, the body builds immunity against the disease. This natural active immunity is why people who catch chicken pox are immune for many decades against the disease.
- Active Immunity – is immunity to a pathogen that occurs following induced exposure to said pathogen .i.e When the body is exposed to a novel (new) disease agent, white blood cell, create antibodies that assist in destroying or neutralizing the disease agent. For example, when the body is presented with a vaccination. Antibodies are disease-specific, meaning that each antibody protects the body from only one disease agent. For instance, antibodies produced when the body detects the virus that causes mumps will not provide any defense against cold or flu viruses.