Innate vs Acquired Defense Mechanisms

There are two major types of host defenses; innate and acquired.
This exercise deals with innate defense mechanisms only.
 

Innate

Acquired

Examples

Barriers such as skin or mucus membranes
Peristalsis
Acid pH

Antibodies
Cytotoxic T cells

Time required for response

Immediate — Innate host defenses are in place, ready to go, at all times.

 

Takes several days for the response to be generated

Specificity

Non-specific — Will attack any invader.

Specific to the microorganism against which it was generated. For example, antibodies against smallpox do not protect against other diseases such as colds or polio.


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