Understanding Infectious Diseases and the Immune System

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Infectious Disease

is caused by agents that have invaded the body


any agent that causes disease

Koch Postulates

rules for determining the cause of a disease

Mucous Membrane

epithelial tissue that protects the inferior surface of the body that might be exposed to pathogens

Inflammatory Response

events that suppress infection and speed recovery


substance that increases the permeability of surrounding capillaries


type of white blood cell that pass through capillary walls, ingest and destroy foreign matter


type of phagocyte that squeeze through capillary walls


type of phagocyte that engulfs pathogens and cellular debris

Natural Killer Cells

large white blood cells that attack pathogen-infected cells

Complement System

proteins that become active when they encounter certain pathogens


protein released by cells infected with viruses

Immune System

group of cells and tissue that recognize and attack foreign substances providing specific defenses


WBC of the immune system


gland located above the heart that helps produce more lymphocytes


large lymphatic organ that stores blood cells, breaks down aged blood cells, and helps with the development of WBC

T Cell

lymphocyte made and mature in bone marrow and mature in the bones

B Cell

lymphocyte made and matured in the bone marrow


any substance that triggers an immune response

Immune Response

reaction of the body against an antigen

Helper T Cell

WBC needed for the development of antibodies

Cell-Mediated Immune Response

immune response that functions to defend cells against invasion of foreign substances

Cytotoxic T Cell

they recognize and destroy cells infected by pathogens

Humoral Immune Response

response that is produced by the action of antibodies

Plasma Cell

specialized cells that make proteins called antibodies


protein that reacts to a specific antigen

Memory Cell

lymphocyte that only responds to the second attack of antigens


ability to resist and infectious disease


introduction of antigens in the body to cause immunity


physical response to an antigen


respiratory disorder that causes the bronchioles to narrow

Autoimmune Disease

disease in which the immune system attacks the organism's own cells


one of the deadliest diseases, the immune system loses its ability to fight off pathogens and cancers


AIDS results from infection by the human immunodeficiency virus

Opportunistic Infection

illness caused by pathogens that produce disease in people with weakened immune systems

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