Share
Explore BrainMass

Immune system and its problems

Review the major aspects of how the human immune system functions.
How is the proper functioning of this system of major importance to all other systems in the body? What kinds of things can go wrong with the immune function and how do these problems interfere with human life?

1200 words and references.

Solution Preview

Review the major aspects of how the human immune system functions.
The immune system in biological entities consists of those behaviors, structures and processes that protect against assault from outside forces. In medicine, only the latter is usually considered under the heading of "immunology" but to biologists consider all three mechanisms as part of the defense system.
I. Behaviors
II. Structural Protective Barriers
III. Processes
I. Behaviors
Even a simple gesture such as pulling a tick out of the skin is technically an immune response. So are spitting and crying. In fact, the act of crying entails two of the responses: bulk removal of the offending agent and antibody response (IgA) to any pathogens in the eye. The first line of defense when the skin is broken is washing the wound which removes the bulk of the bacterial biomass. That is, if it is with clean water.
II. Structural Protective Barriers
Physical barriers prevent pathogens such as bacteria and viruses from entering the organism. If a pathogen breaches these barriers, the innate immune system provides an immediate, but non-specific response. Innate immune systems are found in all plants and animals (1).
III. Processes
There are two active physiological processes activate when an assault occurs in humans (and other the vertebrates)
A. Innate Response (non-specific immune system)
B. Adaptive immune system, which is activated by the Innate Response
A. Innate Response
Cells of the innate immune system are not specific for antigen and have receptors on their surface, which are triggered by ...

Solution Summary

This is a review of the human immune system. It includes a review of how the immune system works in normal people but also gives examples of when their is a dysfunction of the system. Less thoroughly covered is how dysfunctions affect other systems.

$2.19