Fact # 1: Antibodies are manufactured by lymphocytes
Lymphocyte is a type of white blood cell. There are, to be exact, three types of lymphocytes: the Natural Killer Cells (NK Cells); T-Cells; and B-Cells. During a primary infection, undifferentiated B-Cells adapt, identify and produce antibodies specific for the present antigen. These antibodies are responsible for the destruction of the antibodies produced by the foreign invader. Picture it like this: B-Cell is soldier and antibody is the weapon of choice.
Fact # 2: B-Cells are able to fight off infections from memory.
After the whole course of infection, some B-Cells remain dormant for a short or long period of time in the form of Memory B-Cells. Say for example you caught a common cold and went through all the stressful symptoms; you experienced lethargy, coryza, inflamed sinuses, relentless sneezing, runny nose and sticky phlegm then after a few days you recover to your old healthy self. One day you felt some lethargy and some sneezing and a little runny nose then the next day it’s all gone. The previous day you felt like getting sick then the following day it’s gone. Thanks to the amazing work of our Memory B-Cells. The remnants of the B-Cells during the previous infection were already equipped with antigens specific for the same infection and were able to stop the illness before it got worse.
Fact # 3: What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
The more times you get infected, the more serious your B-Cell army gets. With each succeeding infection, your Memory B-Cell army grows in number. Ever wonder why healthy adults get less infection than healthy toddlers? The reason behind this is that adults have had numerous infections within the many years of their existence meaning they have battled numerous infections and have developed immunity towards them.
Fact # 4: Antibodies Can be Naturally Passed on to the Next Generation
Prior to birth, the female mammal is able to produce a substance called colostrum. Colostrum is very, very critical in the nutrition of the newborns. This milk delivers tons of nutrients in contrast with its low quantity. What makes it more amazing is it contains antibodies that the infant can use to fight off infections. The thing is, newborns have not been exposed to infections yet and this milk supplements their ability to resist infections.
Fact # 5: Immunity Can be Gained Without Going Through the Illness
Through the process of immunization, we are able to decrease the likelihood of getting infected. Using the method of passive immunization; by inoculation of weakened pathogen, our immune system can be trained to produce antibody for a specific disease. These attenuated pathogens are so weak they cannot cause infection but the body is able to recognize it and produces defense against it.
Another way is directly introducing antibodies through the bloodstream. Introduction of antibodies used to be a treatment for immunodeficient individuals but it is now possible to customize antibodies to match your uniqueness and greatly reduce the risk of allergic reaction. Some companies like Pacific Immunology offer such services and more details can be found at www.pacificimmunology.com.