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Existing antibodies that will counter antigens yet to contac

Genetics as it applies to evolution, molecular biology, and medical aspects.

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Existing antibodies that will counter antigens yet to contac

Postby sweetiev » Fri Dec 11, 2009 4:21 am

Your body is likely to have existing antibodies that will counter antigens you have yet to contact. How is this accomplished?


I don't know.. maybe because the of pre-built antibodies from other virus preventing vaccines or something that mutates over time? Is there a professional specific answer to that?
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Postby biohazard » Fri Dec 11, 2009 6:58 am

The explanation is diversity. The B cells that produce antibodies have a vast diversity of genes that encode for the variable part of the antibody molecule. Thus they are able to produce thousands of differents types of antibodies. These genes also have mechanisms of recombination and hypermutation, which further increase the number of different antibody specificities to hundreds of thousands, if not millions.

The body produces B cells of which each produces a unique type of antibody initially. There is so much variance within them, that there is basically always few B cells that produce a matching antibody for any antigen out there, some of which have a very high affinity, some a bit lower. If these B cells then recognize the antigen with their receptors (which are membrane-bound antibodies), they start to divide and generate much more of this antobody, thus eventually helping to cure the disease. The high affinity antibody producing B cells usually outgrow the poor affinity ones. During and after an infection or other antigen exposure (such as vaccination).

If the body then meets the same antigen again, the response is much stronger because the cells have already divided and are able to produce much more antibodies much faster. There are also many more sophisticated mechanisms that further enhance the B cell function after they have met their antigen the first time.

What comes to vaccination, it also requires that there are already antibodies specific for the antigens in the vaccine. If the body did not already have antibodies for the vaccine, there would be no immune response towards it and thus the vaccination would be ineffective. So although there is not much wrong with your reasoning, vaccination does not explain why there already are antibodies in the body before the immune system meets the antigen - the immune system has already produced the required antibodies for the antigen used in the vaccine before the first vaccine is given.
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Re: Existing antibodies that will counter antigens yet to contac

Postby sweetiev » Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:11 pm

Wow, that was so crystal clear.

Thank you so much!! So that is how our body works with the vaccines.. thank you
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Postby jwalin » Fri Dec 11, 2009 2:14 pm

for the vaccines
a vaccine works in several was. it can be given orally or injected into a muscle or a vien. dead organisms, inactive toxins, attenuated organisms or surface antigens are put in.
the body responds by creating different types of antibodies. new varieties can also be formed. and if the body had already anytime before contacted the disease or the antigen this response is a lot stronger. and anytime in future if the body comes in contact again the responses is even the more stronger.
it isn't what you do that matters but it is how you do it
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Postby jwalin » Fri Dec 11, 2009 2:15 pm

this is the same principle that booster doses of vaccines follow
it isn't what you do that matters but it is how you do it
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