What happens if the bugs get through the first defences (the innate response)?
If the bugs get through and start to do damage, our immune system is called into action. This is the innate response. At this stage there are no specific symptoms and the immune system does not know which microbe is causing the damage. So whatever the infection, it sends big white blood cells to eat up the bugs. These white blood cells also send out special chemicals called cytokines that tell the immune system which bug is responsible for the infection. These cytokines also increase our body temperature that is why we sometimes get a fever when we are ill. The high temperature makes it more difficult for the bug to grow and also helps the next stage of the immune response - the adaptive immune response.
Date of Posting: 10/01/2003
Date of next Review: 15/01/2005
How does my body protect itself against infection?
What is the adaptive immune response?
Why do I only get some illnesses once?
Why do I get some illnesses lots of times?
Why may I need to take antimicrobials?
Immune System; Immunity; Immunity, Natural