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Elements of Antiviral Immunity and Viral Evasion

Describe the elements of humoral and cellular immunity that are involved in immune responses to viral infections.

What mechanisms have infectious agents evolved to defeat these elements?

Solution Preview

Humoral immunity is the element of immunity that is present in the serum, and consists of immunoglobulins (antibodies). Antibodies are produced by B lymphocytes, and they exist in a soluble form in blood serum. Their function is to bind and inhibit infectious agents or secreted toxins. Antibody binding can neutralize the ability of a pathogen to infect, or prevent toxins from killing cells. Binding of antibody to the surface of a pathogen can also activate the complement system, which can form pores in the outer membrane and kill the organism.

Cellular immunity consists of T lymphocytes. Rather than recognizing a protein from an infectious agent directly, these cells only recognize proteins that have been partly degraded by cells of the host, peptides from which are presented on MHC molecules ...

Solution Summary

This solution details the roles played by the cellular and humoral immune responses to virus infections. It also details strategies viruses have evolved to evade these immune responses.