“Stop right there!” If your immune system were a soldier, you could imagine it barking orders to foreign invading germs like a sergeant. However, how much do you know about this interconnected series of cells and tissues that serve as your body’s defense?
The human immune system is exceedingly complex. Rather than an enclosed circuit, like your circulatory system, defender cells occupy every region of your body. Like ogres and onions, it has many layers, some of which overlap. Read on to discover more about how your body fights off bacteria and viruses by use of its natural defense system.
1. Immunology Goes Back a Long Way
Way back in 430 B.C., the ancient Greek city of Athens saw an epidemic of plague, which modern researchers chalk up to typhus and smallpox. Although as many as 100,000 people died, some survived. It didn’t take long for city officials to notice that those who recovered didn’t fall ill a second time, and they put them to work caring for those currently ailing.
Then, in the 10th century, Chinese medical practitioners began blowing dust from the scabs of dried smallpox into the noses of healthy individuals. These folks would later become sick, but with a milder form of the disease. This practice spread westward and formed the basis for future inoculation efforts.