14 Jan, 2023
Study Guides

3 Types of Immunity


Our immune system is like a superhero team that protects our body from harmful invaders like bacteria and viruses. There are three main types of immunity: innate, adaptive, and passive.

Innate Immunity

Innate immunity is like the first line of defense. It’s always on and ready to protect us, just like a security guard that is always watching the front gate of a building. Innate immunity comprises physical and chemical barriers like the skin and mucous membranes and cells that can quickly recognize and attack invaders. Innate immunity is like a superhero with general abilities to protect the body. It’s always on and ready to protect us, just like how Batman has general capabilities such as fighting skills, detective skills, and gadgets. So it’s like Batman, who has his suit and gadgets ready to use. They do not discriminate against the criminal. All criminals are criminals that are on their radar.

Adaptive Immunity

Adaptive immunity is like the second line of defense. It’s more specific and takes a little longer to get going, but it’s much more powerful. Adaptive immunity is made up of white blood cells called T-cells and B-cells, which are like special agents that can learn to recognize and attack specific invaders. It’s like having a team of bodyguards trained to recognize and take down specific criminals but leaving many other criminals alone. Adaptive immunity is like the superhero that has specific abilities to protect the body. It’s like having that can fly, has super strength and super speed and he is specifically trained to take down a specific villain. While Superman can take down any criminal if he wanted, he’s not looking for the common criminal. They’re looking for the “Big Bads” that will cause the most damage.

Passive Immunity

Passive immunity is like having a temporary superhero that comes to help – but leaves as soon as they’re no longer needed. It would be like a city requesting a group of superheroes for a short time. They are there for a moment, but when they’re no longer needed they leave. Like when a baby no longer needs breast milk. Passive immunity is a type of immunity that is transferred to an individual. It can be acquired through the transfer of antibodies or immune cells, given naturally, as in the case of the mother’s antibodies passed to the newborn via the placenta or breast milk. Passive immunity can also be acquired by giving a person immunoglobulins from plasma or vaccines. It’s like having Flash, that comes to help you for a little while, and then he leaves.

Tips and Tricks

  • Innate immunity is ready all the time, such as skin and mucus membranes
  • Adaptive immunity is built for specific things, and if used all the time would deplete
  • Passive immunity is acquired from breast milk, the placenta, vaccines, and plasma immunoglobins
  • All three work together to protect your body, doing three very different jobs