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Acquired Immunity


Acquired Immunity

Lycanthrope = lymphocyte
abdomen = antigen
blue-viper = flu virus


Santa-toxic = cytotoxic

Helper T

Amputee = helper T

B Cells

Bee-cells = B cells

Antiviral Antibodies

Bee-cells = B cells
anti-viper-robots = antiviral antibodies
blue = flu

Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes

CTLs and antibodies defeat the virus

Acquired Immunity

Immune System

The human immune system is the combination of the body’s efforts to protect itself from the harmful effects of pathogens and other foreign substances, destroy diseased or weak cells, and remove cellular-level or even molecular-level debris.  Using its own advanced structure and with the help of a special suite of organs, tissues, cells, and cell products, the body can build its defenses, recognize threats, react, fight pathogens, repair damage, and improve the defense, preparing for similar future invasions.

shutterstock_345506930Defense Suite
Derived from the regular leaking of flowing blood through its vessels and produced in various degrees by the spleen and the bone marrow, a special clear-yellowish fluid called lymph circulates in its own vessels throughout the body, containing white blood cells (fighting cells) that eventually make their way back into the blood stream through the flow of lymph and intermittent leaking.  The lymphatic organ called the spleen is essential to the immune system, storing red blood and white blood cells for emergency response, filtering and cleansing blood, and producing both types of blood cells.  Bone marrow is a type of soft connective tissue located in the interior of bones; it is the primary producer of blood, both white and red.  White blood cells can be divided into five main types: lymphocytes, neutrophils, monocytes, basophils, and eosinophils, where neutrophils and monocytes are phagocytic (cellular debris eaters) and lymphocytes are the main type of immune response cells, including B cells, T cells, and NK cells, some of which can eventually differentiate into plasma cells.  Plasma cells produce antibodies in response to a pathogen invasion that feature specific binding sites (locks) for antigens (keys) – molecular components of intruders that induce a specific type of immune system response, like the creation of antibodies to link to antigens in order to neutralize them.

Acquired Immunity

Innate immunity is the immunity the body has by virtue of genetics – the type of antibodies and system inherited from the parents.  Since there are billions of strands (versions) of pathogens, the types encountered by previous generations will most definitely differ from the strands faced by the body today, reducing the effect of innate immunity.  Most of the body’s immunities are acquired throughout its life.

Passive Immunity
Passive immunity is gained through the transfer of readymade antibodies that can meet the threat.  This type of immunity is very short-lived because the body does not produce its own version of antibodies and therefore doesn’t remember the antibody-antigen lock-key combination (for possibly different types of strands or under different conditions).  Passive immunity is acquired naturally by a fetus while in its mother’s womb and through breast milk in the early periods of weaning, the readymade antibodies being transferred through the placenta or the breast milk.  Passive immunity can also be acquired by immunization (shots) or antibiotics (typically pills to be ingested), when there is little time for the body to develop its own antibodies and is in need of a short-term supply.  Again, the T cell and B cell memory cells will not be activated and the body will not have any way to remember this type of antigen, because the antibody is being imported (from the mother or through shots or pills).

Active Immunity
Active immunity is acquired through the triggering of the immune response in the body by entry of an antigen, resulting in the activation of B cells and T cells that first analyze a pathogen’s antigen (key) and then produce the appropriate antibody (lock).  They include memory cells that now can reproduce that same type of antibody quicker the next time they encounter this type of antigen.  Active immunity can be naturally acquired when the body contracts a disease / disorder so that the immune system can be activated and consequently remember the type of antigens that intruded.  Active immunity is artificially acquired by the injection of a vaccine – a substance resembling a pathogen that contains the antigen in a weakened form so that the immune system can create the appropriate antibody with ease and with little risk of introducing harmful substances into the body.


The human immune system is a very advanced mechanism of the body.  It serves to build defenses, recognize threats, react, fight pathogens, repair damage, and improve the defense, preparing for similar future invasions.  It accomplishes this by way of a defense suite located in every part of the body and which can be transported to the appropriate location by way of blood flow.  It includes organs like the spleen, tissue like the bone marrow, white blood cells, and antibodies, working with the advanced structure of the body to provide protection and immunity.  Innate immunity is what the body is ready for based on what is inherited and acquired immunity is what is acquired throughout the life of the body.  This includes short-term immunity that a fetus or newborn gets from its mother and antibody import through shots or pills, and it includes long-term immunity achieved by fighting disease successfully and artificially-induced pathogens triggering the appropriate immune response.

Acquired Immunity Master Script


1. Zoom: top scene

Hot Spot:  lycanthrope = lymphocyte; abdomen = antigen; blue-viper = flu virus

Information Script:  Acquired immunity is the body's ability to rapidly respond to an infection it has encountered before. The work horses of the acquired immunity are lymphocytes. In this CoursePic, we'll look at how the lymphocytes, shown here as lycanthropes, react to the presence of infectious antigens, or infected abdomens, to fight off a familiar infection. For this example, we will have blue vipers to represent the flu virus.

Story Script: At the sight of the familiar blue-viper infested abdomens of these sick cells, the lycanthrope cells immediately begin to transform into their werecell forms.


2. Zoom: second scene, left section

Hot Spot: Santa-toxic = cytotoxic

Information Script:  Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes, or CTLs, attack and destroy infected cells before they can release mature viruses to infect other cells. This Santa-toxic lycanthrope is             poisoning this infected cell to halt the spread of the virus.

Story Script: This infected cell stops his rampaging when he sees that the harmless looking cell has morphed into a Santa-toxic lycanthrope! He knows his time is up when the werecell grabs him by the arm and brings out a flask of poison.


3. Zoom: second scene, middle

Hot Spot:  amputee = helper T

Information Script: Helper T cells don't actually fight directly, but help by activating other CTLs that might not have encountered the antigen yet. The helper T cells are represented by amputee cells in this CoursePic, and as shown here, serve to spread the news of the infection.

Story Script: This amputee isn't able to fight off the infection. Instead, it spreads to news, causing other inactive lycanthropes to change into Santa-toxic werecells.


4. Zoom: second scene, right

Hot Spot: bee-cells = B cells

Information Script: Helper T cells also activate B cells.

Story Script: While his fellow amputee recruits more Santa-toxic werecells for the fight, this amputee deploys the bee-cells.


5. Zoom: third scene

Hot Spot: bee-cells = B cells; anti-viper-robots = antiviral antibodies; blue = flu

Information Script: The B cells produce antigen specific antibodies to help fight off the infection. In this scene, the bee-cells are producing anti-viper-robots, shown as mongoose-bots.  They're blue because they're programmed specifically to fight the blue vipers that represent the flu virus.

Story Script: The bee-cells work rapidly to produce just the right blue anti-viper-robots. Once these reinforcements join the Santa-toxic lycanthropes, the blue-vipers won't stand a chance.


6. Zoom: bottom scene

Hot Spot: CTLs and antibodies defeat the virus

Information Script:  By combining the antibodies and CTLs produced specifically for this strain of virus, the spread of infection can be stopped.

Story Script: With the aid of the anti-viper-robots, the Santa-toxic werecells sack the blue-viper cells in no time.

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