Difference between Innate and Adaptive Immunity

S.N.CharacteristicsInnate ImmunityAdaptive immunity
1.PresenceInnate immunity is something already present in the body.Adaptive immunity is created in response to exposure to a foreign substance.
3.ResponseFights any foreign invaderFight only specific infection
4.ResponseRapidSlow (1-2 weeks)
5.PotencyLimited and Lower potencyHigh potency
6.Time spanOnce activated against a specific type of antigen, the immunity remains throughout the life.The span of developed immunity can be lifelong or short.
7.InheritanceInnate type of immunity is generally inherited from parents and passed to offspring.Adaptive immunity is not passed from the parents to offspring, hence it cannot be inherited.
8.MemoryCannot react with equal potency upon repeated exposure to the same pathogen.Adaptive system can remember the specific pathogens which have encountered before.
9.PresencePresent at birthDevelops during a person’s lifetime and can be short-lived.
10.Allergic ReactionNoneImmediate and Delay hypersensitivity
11.Used AgainstFor microbesMicrobes and non-microbial substances called antigens
12.MemoryNo memoryLong term memory
14.SpeedFaster responseSlower response
15.Complement system activationAlternative and lectin pathwaysClassical pathway
16.Anatomic and physiological barriersSkin, Mucous membranes, Temp, pH, chemicals, etc.Lymph nodes, spleen, mucosal associated lymphoid tissue.
17.CompositionThe innate immune system is composed of physical and chemical barriers, phagocytic leukocytes, dendritic cells, natural killer cells, and plasma proteins.Adaptive immune system is composed of B cells and T cells.
18.DevelopmentEvolutionary, older and is found in both vertebrates and invertebrates.Adaptive immunity system has been developed recently and is found only in the vertebrates.
19.ExampleWhite blood cells fighting bacteria, causing redness and swelling, when you have a cut.Chickenpox vaccination so that we don’t get chickenpox because adaptive immunity system has remembered the foreign body.

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20 thoughts on “Difference between Innate and Adaptive Immunity”

  1. What happen if foreign invader attack the body to the second time in innate immunity ?
    Because innate immunity doesn’t have memory to recall what happen to the body before, and how innate immunity will adapt that situation ? How innate immunity will response ?


    • Innate doesn’t work over here again,the work goes straight to the T-cells which contains memory cells since its a known antigen

    • A foreign molecule that is specifically recognized by the host’s immune system as foreign or non self and is capable of triggering and immune response is called an immunogen. An Ag can specifically bind to an Ab molecule. An Ag i.e capable of producing an immune response is referred to as an immunogen. The term Ag, is used for a molecule i.e only capable of binding two an Ab molecule, but that does not necessarily induce an immune response. Therefore, all immunogens are considered as Ag, but not all Ags are immunogens.

    • artificial passive immunity – Get the immunized cells from the immunized person
      artificial active immunity – Getting immunized cells through the vaccination process

    • In trying to answer, i would say innate is non-specific and that is the reason why it needs no memory the last invaded pathogen….. to bring you in understanding, if you know the data correctly they is no need to memorise but if you dont have that ability to know, that is when you can memorise….. in conclusion, it is non-specific that why it needs no memorise to recall what happened… it does not choose which pathogen to attack but all invaders to the body are attacked….thanks

      • I think memory cell formation involves the actions of certain T cell-secreted lymphokines. These are not found in the innate immune system.

        We notice the same thing in T-cell independent B cell activation, where memory cells are not formed.

        Basically, for memory cells to be formed, we need T-cells.

        So I think it is due toghe absence of T cells in the innate system.

          • But you can born with antibodies which have crossed the placenta from mother to foetus mostly IgG antibodies.

    • Yes but (I think) it will be by the same type of antibody because the innate response doesn’t produce memory cells. It will be mostly ineffective against the same invader.

      • No
        Bcz of the lack of memory in innate immune system
        So upon the second exposure to a pathogen the innate will respond as if it is the first exposure , and this response can be effective or not depending on many factors .


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