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Primary and Secondary immune responses

By: Ahmad B. Crudup

For many days after an antigen has entered the body their are no antibodies produced in the bloodstream to fight the antigen. .The first line of defense   The first time a harmful antigen is encountered in the body it triggers the primary immune response. This lag period can last for as little as 10 days or as long as 4 weeks.

The first line of defense   During the lag phase. Soon antibodies specific for the harmful antigen begin to appear in the bloodstream and increase until they level off and then slowly decrease until the antibodies are barley detectable. . B-lymphocytes are preparing to become active so they can start to divide and begin to produce antibodies.

What a Lymphocyte looks like .

.The first line of defense  Slowly as the primary immune response progresses the quality of antibodies improve. The antibodies that are more effective in killing the invading antigens become predominant.

Antibodies  This is the basic shape and layout of what the antibodies look like when they are produced during the primary immune response. .

Second line of defense The secondary immune response occurs after an antigen that has already been encountered reappears.  For example.  . if someone had recovered from the flu and later encounters the same strain of that virus antibodies that were made specifically for that antigen will rise dramatically with almost no lag period.

thus the immune system is said to memory response.Second line of defense  Also after the antigen has been killed the antibodies fall even slower than they did in the primary immune response. The most dominant antibodies are what signals the other immune cells to attack. .

Vaccines  Primary and Secondary immune responses and memory cells have led to the development of vaccines and vaccinations for controlling infections. The idea is to introduce a weakened strain of a particular antigen into the body to trigger the primary immune response. .

 Secondary immune response: Is a much quicker and more effective response that occurs after an previously encountered antigen reappears.Definitions Primary immune response: The response that occurs after an harmful antigen has been encountered for the first time.  .

com  . 29-31)  Natural Science Teachers Association: Primary and secondary immune responses  Photos from Google.References Aids: Science and Society: Primary and Secondary immune responses (pg.