Differences between innate and acquired immunity

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innate and adaptive

Adaptive immunity is also known as acquired immunity since the efficacy of immune response is only acquired by experience.

Innate immunity is the resistance that a person is born with. Individual immunity, racial immunity, and species immunity are three types of innate immunity.

Differences between innate and acquired immunity are listed in the table below

FeatureInnate immunityAcquired immunity
DefinitionThe resistance to infection that an individual possesses by virtue of genetic and constitutional makeupThe resistance that an individual acquires during life
TypesNonspecific and specificActive and passive
Time taken to developHoursDays
SpecificityFor structures shared by groups of related microbesFor antigens of microbes and for nonmicrobial antigens
MemoryNone; repeated exposure brings response like primary responseYes; secondary response much faster than primary response


FeatureInnate immunityAcquired immunity
Physical and chemical barriersSkin, mucosal epithelia, and antimicrobial chemicalsLymphocytes in epithelia and antibodies secreted at epithelial surfaces
Blood and tissue antimicrobial substancesComplement; leukins from leukocytes, plakins from platelets, lactic acid found in muscle tissue, lactoperoxidase in milk, and interferons (antiviral)Antibodies
CellsPhagocytes (macrophages and neutrophils) and natural killer cellsLymphocytes

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About the Author: Labweeks

KEUMENI DEFFE Arthur luciano is a medical laboratory technologist, community health advocate and currently a master student in tropical medicine and infectious disease.

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