The Power of Antibodies: Functions, Classes, and Applications in Science and Medicine

Antibody

Protein that helps destroy pathogens. Shaped like the letter Y and had two identical antigen-binding sites. Each antigen is custom made for a particular pathogen.

Antibodies, also known as immunoglobulins, are proteins in the blood and other bodily fluids that help the immune system recognize, respond to, and fight off foreign substances such as bacteria, viruses, and toxins. They are produced by specialized cells in the immune system called B cells.

Each antibody is specific to a particular foreign substance, known as an antigen. When the immune system encounters an antigen, B cells produce antibodies that can bind to the antigen and mark it for destruction by other immune cells such as macrophages or natural killer cells. Antibodies can also neutralize toxins or prevent certain viruses from infecting cells.

There are five classes of antibodies in humans, each with different functions and roles in the immune response. IgM is the first antibody produced in response to an infection, while IgG is the most common and long-lasting antibody. IgA plays a critical role in protecting mucosal surfaces such as the respiratory and digestive tracts, while IgE is associated with allergic reactions. Finally, IgD is present in low levels and its function is not yet fully understood.

Antibodies can also be artificially produced in the lab and used in diagnostic and therapeutic applications. For example, diagnostic tests for infectious diseases such as COVID-19 rely on detecting specific antibodies in a person’s blood. Antibody therapies such as monoclonal antibodies are used to treat certain diseases, including cancers and autoimmune disorders.

More Answers:

Difference between Innate and Adaptive Immune Responses for Effective Pathogen Recognition and Immune Memory
Two Lines of Defense: How Our Body Defends Against Pathogens
Cell-Mediated Immunity: The Critical Role of T Cells in Protecting the Body.

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