Innate Immunity

Innate immune cells express genetically encoded receptors, called Toll-like receptors (TLRs), which recognize general danger- or pathogen-associated patterns. Collectively, these receptors can broadly recognize viruses, bacteria, fungi, and even non-infectious problems. However, they cannot distinguish between specific strains of bacteria or viruses.

There are numerous types of innate immune cells with specialized functions. They include neutrophils, eosinophils, basophils, mast cells, monocytes, dendritic cells, and macrophages (See Immune Cells for detailed descriptions). Their main feature is the ability to respond quickly and broadly when a problem arises, typically leading to inflammation. Innate immune cells also are important for activating adaptive immunity. Innate cells are critical for host defense, and disorders in innate cell function may cause chronic susceptibility to infection.

Source: NIAID (NIH)1

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Immunity, Innate: The capacity of a normal organism to remain unaffected by microorganisms and their toxins. It results from the presence of naturally occurring Anti-Infective Agents, constitutional factors such as Body Temperature and immediate acting immune cells such as Natural Killer Cells.2

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References

  1. Source: NIAID (NIH): niaid.nih.gov/ topics/ immunesystem/ Pages/ features.aspx
  2. Source: MeSH (U.S. National Library of Medicine)
  3. Source: NIAMS (NIH): niams.nih.gov/ Health_Info/ Sports_Injuries/ default.asp
  4. Source: MedLinePlus (NIH): medlineplus.gov/ viralinfections.html
  5. Source: RDCRN (NCATS/NIH): rarediseasesnetwork.org/ cms/ cegir/ Learn-More/ Glossary

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Note: This site is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. See your doctor or other qualified medical professional for all your medical needs.