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The immune system consists of innate and adaptive immune cells that work together to protect the host against infections and malignancies. See MoreThe innate immune system provides the first line of defense against foreign organisms. During infection, cells of the innate immune system alert cells of the adaptive immune system, which respond with a long-lasting, pathogen-specific defense that protects against subsequent re-infection. The immune system not only protects the body against infectious organisms, but also plays a role in protecting the body against cancer: immune cells recognize specific antigens on tumors cells, which are then targeted for elimination. Immune disorders may arise when the immune system fails to mount an adequate immune response (immunodeficiencies) or when the immune system mounts an unwanted immune response against either the body’s own antigens (autoimmune disorders) or harmless foreign compounds (asthma, allergies).

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