Humans have a type of immune memory: our body’s defenses can often remember pathogens for years. In some cases, the immune system even remembers the attacker for life. This gives the human body a decisive advantage over viruses, bacteria, and the like: because it already knows pathogens, our immune system can react quickly and thus prevent a serious illness.
Immune memory: how does it work?
But how this immune memory works has long been a mystery to researchers. Because practically all human cells die at some point and are replaced by new cells. So how is information about pathogens preserved?
A breakthrough has now been made in explaining this phenomenon with the help of molecular labels. Explains how the research team went about it frank shuberta of spectrum of science in conversation with detector.fm-Moderator Mark Zimmer. Schubert also explains how our immune system normally works: it has an innate and an acquired component. The latter can be broadly divided into antibodies and immune cells.
Immune cells such as T lymphocytes in turn destroy diseased cells, alert other immune cells through messenger substances or control the body’s defense response.
Despite this simple defense, viruses and other pathogens manage to invade and harm our bodies over and over again. Only the development of vaccines helped To substantially reduce dangerous infectious diseases. Therefore, Schubert concludes, vaccination is one of the greatest achievements of modern medicine.
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