Latest News

Intestinal Bacteria May Fuel Inflammation and Worsen HIV Disease
Surprisingly, the human body consists of more bacterial cells than human cells. An important region where...
Read more
'Epilepsy in a Dish': Stem Cell Research Reveals Clues to Disease's Origins and May Aid Search for Better Drugs
Scientists at the University of Michigan Medical School have created an exciting new model called “epilepsy...
Read more
A Community of Microbes Help Protect Plants from Disease.
The immune system of animals is extremely complex and helps defend against a plethora of diseases. Plants,...
Read more
A measleslike virus is responsible for the recent Dolphin die-off
Over 300 dolphins have washed up along the eastern coast of the U.S. since July 1st of this year....
Read more
A new antimalaria drug: less expensive, simple treatment, easy to produce
Malaria is the most important tropical disease in the world, with over 665,000 deaths worldwide, many...
Read more

15-1 Introduction

| | |


From a microbe's point of view, our bodies are excellent places to live and as a result we are covered with microorganisms. Most of these associations are benign or even beneficial, but a few are damaging to the animal host and they would rapidly spread throughout our tissues if it were not for the immune system. This intricate and complex collection of proteins, cells and tissues has the daunting task of keeping the tens of billions of little travelers attached to our bodies from entering areas where they ought not to be. It is nearly unbelievable that the immune system is up to the task, yet it certainly is and our lives depend on it. This chapter will describe the array of defenses that mammals have to protect themselves from infectious disease.

| | |