Difference between Innate and Adaptive Immunity



Innate Immunity

Adaptive immunity

1. Presence Innate immunity is something already present in the body. Adaptive immunity is created in response to exposure to a foreign substance.
2. Specificity Non-Specific Specific
3. Response Fights any foreign invader Fight only specific infection
4. Response Rapid Slow (1-2 weeks)
5. Potency Limited and Lower potency High potency
6. Time span Once activated against a specific type of antigen, the immunity remains throughout the life. The span of developed immunity can be lifelong or short.
7. Inheritance Innate 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. Memory Cannot react with equal potency upon repeated exposure to the same pathogen. Adaptive system can remember the specific pathogens which have encountered before.
9. Presence Present at birth Develops during a person’s lifetime and can be short-lived.
10. Allergic Reaction None Immediate and Delay hypersensitivity
11. Used Against For microbes Microbes and non-microbial substances called antigens
12. Memory No memory Long term memory
13. Diversity Limited High
14. Speed Faster response Slower response
15. Complement system activation Alternative and lectin pathways Classical pathway
16. Anatomic and physiological barriers Skin, Mucous membranes, Temp, pH, chemicals, etc. Lymph nodes, spleen, mucosal associated lymphoid tissue.
17. Composition The 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. Development Evolutionary, older and is found in both vertebrates and invertebrates. Adaptive immunity system has been developed recently and is found only in the vertebrates.
19. Example White 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.

11 thoughts on “Difference between Innate and Adaptive Immunity”

  1. hey i think secondary response cannot occur in innate immunity. secondary response is a quick response to an invader encountered by the body earlier on, it occurs because of memory cells being present and if the innate immune system does not have memory cells, then it will respond to a second infection just like the first infection by the same pathogen

    • 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.

    • 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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