Immunity consists of innate and adaptive responses. Innate immune systems are found in all classes of plant and animal life. The innate immune system is made up of specialized cells (e.g., macrophages, dendritic cells, neutrophils), which recognize and respond immediately to infection and injury in a way that does not confer long-lasting or protective immunity. The innate immune system also plays an essential role in the activation of the evolutionarily younger adaptive immune response. Unlike innate immunity, adaptive immunity is slower to respond but is highly specific, producing responses that target a particular antigen. Adaptive immunity is also the mediator of immunological memory which allows a faster, more effective response to a previously encountered antigen. Although the immune system, especially the adaptive immune system, evolved mechanisms to tolerate the tissue constituents of its...
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