Image for Immune response
Immune response

Related Terms

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Background

  • The immune response is a defensive reaction against harmful substances, such as viruses or bacteria, which enter the body. The immune response helps protect the body from disease, infection, and cancer.
  • The immune system is a complex network of cells, proteins, tissues, and organs in the body that work together to fight off harmful substances and disease-causing microorganisms, called pathogens.
  • The immune system is also responsible for allergic reactions. An allergic reaction occurs when the body overreacts to substances called allergens, which are normally harmless in healthy individuals. For instance, if the immune system mistakes substances, such as pollen, fungus spores, parasites, or animal dander, for a harmful invader, the body will launch an attack. This reaction causes allergy symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, and hives.
  • If the immune system is not functioning properly, individuals are more susceptible to diseases, infections, and cancers. This is because the immune system is the body's first line of defense against these conditions. Some patients may be born with immune disorders, such as Nijmegen breakage syndrome. Others may acquire immune disorders, such as HIV, later in life.
  • Further content available for subscribers only.

Immune System Organs

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Immune Responses

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Types of Immunity

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Integrative Therapies

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Author Information

  • Content available for subscribers only.

References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

  • Content available for subscribers only.
The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.