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Adaptive immunity 

Adaptive immunity
Chapter:
Adaptive immunity
Author(s):

Paul Klenerman

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198746690.003.0040
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date: 07 March 2021

The adaptive immune response is distinguished from the innate immune response by two main features: its capacity to respond flexibly to new, previously unencountered antigens (antigenic specificity), and its enhanced capacity to respond to previously encountered antigens (immunological memory). These two features have provided the focus for much research attention, from the time of Jenner, through Pasteur onwards. Historically, innate and adaptive immune responses have often been treated as separate, with the latter being considered more ‘advanced’ because of its flexibility. It is now clear this not the case, and in recent years the molecular basis for these phenomena has become much better understood.

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