Part 1: Innate Immunity
Almost 2 years into the global Covid-19 pandemic, how much do you know about your immune system?
The human immune system is complex. There is nobody in the world who understands every aspect of immunity in all its parts. There has been a lot of discussion over the last 2 years about immunity, natural immunity, acquired immunity, etc.
This post, along with Friday’s will help put those in perspective. These articles will be more technical and in depth than you may be used to but I have no doubt on the other end you will know more than 95% of people.
To start, there are two different types of immunity in the human body:
Today’s article will focus on the innate immune system. Fridays will focus on the acquired immune system.
Innate immunity, as the name suggests, refers to the body’s immune functions which are present all the time, regardless of what you come into contact with. These are the parts of the human body that always exist (unless some genetic dysfunction) and provide broad, nonspecific immunity. Let’s go through some of these.
Physical barriers are the body’s first line of defense with skin being the most obvious. Skin is the largest organ of the body and serves a multitude of purposes. Your skin is made up of 5 layers with the epidermis being the most exterior. The epidermis consists of numerous layers of dead skin cells which are periodically shed. Not only does this layer protect from infection by blocking microbes from entering the body, but as the epidermis sheds it carries away harmful microbes.