What is innate immunity?
Innate immunity refers to a type of immunity that is so-called inborn. It is like a situation wherein the babies automatically inherit the their parents ability to combat possible diseases for example. In other terms, innate immunity may also be referred to as a non-specific type of immunity. This is due to the fact that the ability of a person or host to battle infectious organisms for example is considered not specific. This type of action against the body’s harmful pathogens is only the first line of defence and does not provide long-term protection. This is opposite to another type of immunity called adaptive or acquired immunity wherein the person involved or the host will be able to develop new ways of combating infections by means of adaptation. But aside from human beings, innate immunity may also be applied to plant life.
In the case of human beings, the skin is actually the first line of defence against possible attacks from bacteria or viruses. With the skin intact, the body will be able to protect the internal parts of the body from harm or injury. In the facial area, the nasal passages also provide innate immunity in the sense that nasal hair will filter harmful particles from reaching the lungs. The nasal pathway also secretes mucus to trap big particles from the air which may invade the lungs or block the airway.
Internally, innate immunity is provided by one’s white blood cells. These cells are responsible for providing a balance to the body’s overall immune system. These cells act to identify which particles are threats to the body or not. White blood cells also act to eliminate these harmful particles in the body to prevent injury and/or illness. Over time, these same cells are also the body’s agents in acquiring new types of immunities.