HTE asked in Science & MathematicsBiology · 1 decade ago

What are three specific examples of non-specific immunity?

What are three SPECIFIC examples of non-specific immunity?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    The elements of the innate (non-specific) immune system (Table 2) include anatomical barriers, secretory molecules and cellular components. Among the mechanical anatomical barriers are the skin and internal epithelial layers, the movement of the intestines and the oscillation of broncho-pulmonary cilia. Associated with these protective surfaces are chemical and biological agents.

    A. Anatomical barriers to infections

    1. Mechanical factors

    The epithelial surfaces form a physical barrier that is very impermeable to most infectious agents. Thus, the skin acts as our first line of defense against invading organisms. The desquamation of skin epithelium also helps remove bacteria and other infectious agents that have adhered to the epithelial surfaces. Movement due to cilia or peristalsis helps to keep air passages and the gastrointestinal tract free from microorganisms. The flushing action of tears and saliva helps prevent infection of the eyes and mouth. The trapping effect of mucus that lines the respiratory and gastrointestinal tract helps protect the lungs and digestive systems from infection.

    2. Chemical factors

    Fatty acids in sweat inhibit the growth of bacteria. Lysozyme and phospholipase found in tears, saliva and nasal secretions can breakdown the cell wall of bacteria and destabilize bacterial membranes. The low pH of sweat and gastric secretions prevents growth of bacteria. Defensins (low molecular weight proteins) found in the lung and gastrointestinal tract have antimicrobial activity. Surfactants in the lung act as opsonins (substances that promote phagocytosis of particles by phagocytic cells).

    3. Biological factors

    The normal flora of the skin and in the gastrointestinal tract can prevent the colonization of pathogenic bacteria by secreting toxic substances or by competing with pathogenic bacteria for nutrients or attachment to cell surfaces."

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