How do cells protect the body from diseases?

Jan 20th, 2021 | by  Sarah Shakeel


During the coronavirus pandemic, each of us waited for the vaccine to be made. But do you know why we were in a hurry? What benefit would we get from a vaccine in fighting the disease?

The answer is the mechanism of our body. Our body responds to any foreign allergen or virus that enters our body. Our body consists of an immune system, which has different types of cells that work together and protect our body from diseases. That's the reason why doctors advise to improve immunity!

Immune system


The immune system is the network of various cells and tissues that work in protecting our body from pathogens like bacteria, viruses, fungi etc. It recognizes any foreign species that invade our body. It has the ability to distinguish among the cells of our body. Also, our immune system is capable of removing the dead and decayed cells of our body. This ability to identify any disease-causing antigen and fighting it is the immunity of our body.

The protection mechanism of our body


The immune system contains various cells that work together to fight and prevent diseases. White blood cells or leukocytes are the main cells that look for any foreign pathogen that enter our body. When we encounter an infection, the amount of Leukocytes in our blood rises, this shows that they multiply and work as the defence mechanism of our body. These leukocytes are stored in organs like spleen, bone marrow, thymus and lymph nodes. Two main types of white blood cells and their functions are:

1. Phagocytes

Their main function is to surround the pathogen and to dissolve or ingest it. These include cells like Neutrophils, which attack the bacteria; Monocytes, which are abundant; Macrophages, which remove dead cells; Mast cells, which help in healing wounds.

2. Lymphocytes

Their main function is to create an immune response and remember the pathogens that have entered in the body. They have 2 types: B-lymphocytes, whose main role is to create antibodies, like a particular antibody that prevents the same pathogen from attacking again. These antibodies lock up the antigen until it is dead, the phagocytes kill these antigens; T-lymphocytes stimulate other cells or B-lymphocytes to make antibodies and phagocytes to kill the pathogens. Also, they coordinate with other cells to remove the affected cells from the invading pathogens.


Through the protection mechanism of our body, we become immune to certain diseases. If we encounter a virus, our body will produce antibodies and cure it, if it enters again, our body will identify and prevent it from attacking us. This is the immune mechanism of our body. Various types of immunities are:

• Innate immunity

This is the naturally gifted immunity of our body. It is in the form of barriers like our skin, hair etc. It is the first barrier against any pathogen that tried to enter our body.

• Acquired immunity

It is created when we are exposed to infection throughout our life or when we are vaccinated. Through the pathogen exposure to our body, our immune system creates antibodies and gets immunized against that pathogen.

• Passive immunity

This is the borrowed immunity from other sources and is temporary. Like a mother’s milk provides antibodies to a baby for the prevention of infections.

Immunization / vaccination


The main purpose of vaccination is producing immunity in one's body to fight diseases. This works on the defence mechanism of our body. Vaccination gives an antigen in less quantity to produce antibodies against that particular virus or disease. The pathogen is given in such amount so that the person does not fall sick. This is the reason why a newborn is given vaccines like hepatitis B, BCG, polio, etc.

So this is how our body cells work to protect us from diseases. This mechanism of our body is no less than a miracle to us. It has brought the development of medical sciences to a whole new level.



Sarah Shakeel

Sarah Shakeel

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