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What Are the Components of the Immune System?

A diagram showing different types of white blood cells.
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  • Written By: T. Davis
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 16 September 2014
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The immune system is responsible for protecting the human body from foreign objects that might cause an infection, such as viruses and bacteria. There are several organs and systems inside the body that make up the immune system. Some of the important components of the immune system are the lymph system, the white blood cells, the spleen, antibodies and bone marrow.

One of the main components of the immune system is the lymph system. This system is made up of small lymph nodes that are located throughout the body in areas such as the neck, the pit of the arms and inside the abdomen. When an infection is found inside the body, it is trapped inside the lymph nodes, which might cause the lymph nodes to swell. After the infection is trapped, it is destroyed using white blood cells.

White blood cells, which are also known as leukocytes, can be found inside the blood in the body. There are six major types of white blood cells, which are mostly created in the bone marrow. Each type of white blood cell is responsible for fighting off a certain infection. The level of white blood cells found in the blood often increases if there is an infection present.

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Another one of the main components of the immune system is the spleen. The spleen is located in the abdomen area behind the rib cage. It is responsible for filtering the blood and storing white blood cells. The spleen also helps fight off bacterial infections inside the body. If the spleen becomes damaged, a person might see a reduction in his or her body’s ability to fight infections.

Antibodies are proteins that are created by white blood cells to find infections inside the body. After an infection is found, the antibody attaches to the foreign object as part of a group to prevent it from moving throughout the body. There are five classes of antibodies, and each class has its own function in the immune system.

Bone marrow, which is found inside bones, is another of the main components of the immune system. There are two types of marrow in the bones: red and yellow. The red bone marrow‘s job is to create new white blood cells to fight infections on a daily basis. Yellow bone marrow mainly stores fat cells, but it also can be converted into red bone marrow if necessary.

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