Immune System & Immune Response

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  • 0:00 Immune System
  • 0:56 Immunology
  • 1:41 Antibody-Mediated Immunity
  • 2:27 Cell-Mediated Immunity
  • 3:40 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Rebecca Gillaspy

Dr. Gillaspy has taught health science at University of Phoenix and Ashford University and has a degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic.

Your immune system protects you from foreign invaders that might harm you. When your immune system responds to these threats, it's called an immune response. Learn about two arms of immunity known as antibody-mediated and cell-mediated immunity.

Immune System

How much would you be willing to pay a security firm to protect you 24 hours a day for all 365 days of the year? Would that service be worth hundreds, thousands, or maybe tens of thousands of dollars? What if I told you that you already have this service, and it costs you nothing?

This incredible service is provided by your immune system, which is the system that recognizes and destroys foreign invaders. When your immune system responds to the presence of foreign invaders, we call it an immune response. Your immune system is a valuable asset and selflessly protects you from many different foreign invaders, which we call antigens. In this lesson, you'll learn how your immune system keeps you safe and learn about two arms of immunity known as antibody-mediated immunity and cell-mediated immunity.


Immunology, which is the study of the immune system, is not a new science. Even ancient Greek scientists noticed that once someone got sick, that person was unlikely to come down with the same sickness a second time.

However, their understanding was limited by their lack of scientific equipment. In fact, it wasn't until scientists started to examine blood under microscopes that the basis of immunity was established. Scientists noticed that the blood of a person who survived an infection changed. The surviving person's blood now contained proteins in the blood that protected against future attacks. These proteins that were produced in response to the infection-causing antigen were named antibodies.

Antibody-Mediated Immunity

When you have antibodies present in your body fluids that provide immunity, the immunity is called antibody-mediated immunity. This is also referred to as humoral immunity because the medieval term for body fluids is humor, even though there's not much funny about blood, lymph, or any other body fluid for that matter.

The word mediate means to intervene to try to make something better. This might help you remember what antibody-mediated immunity is because we see that antibodies intervene and try to make your health better by getting rid of antigens. When your doctor gives you a vaccination, his hope is that the shot will stimulate the production of antibodies inside of you resulting in this type of immunity.

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