The innate immune system is the body’s first response to pathogens and foreign invaders. It can be thought of the body’s first line of defense against the outside world. It’s fast to act and takes care of most defense functions with relative ease.
Innate immunity is composed of several key protective components. Each one is integral to the overall functioning. These components include:
- Physical barrier – the skin and mucous membranes (nasal passage, intestinal tract, etc.)
- Leukocytes – diverse white blood cells (macrophages, neutrophils, lymphocytes, etc.)
- Additional – various other substances in the blood (protein/enzymes, antibodies, etc.)
A failure of one layer to do it’s job places more strain on the others. Resulting in an overall weakening of the immune system and higher risk of infection/complications. As a result, it’s essential for each component to be capable of adequately performing its role.
This section takes a close look at the inner workings of the innate immune system and some of it’s most prominent characteristics. The content of this section is broken down into the following sub-sections:
- The Importance of Speed
Evaluates why speed is such an important feature of innate immunity
- The Physical Barrier
Introduces the first line of innate immunity and how it operates
- Second Line of Innate Immunity
Discusses what happens when pathogens make it past the physical barrier
- Macrophages – A Famous Phagocyte
Reviews how one of the most famous immune system cells do their job