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Rights: The University of Waikato
Published 9 November 2008 Referencing Hub media
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Dr Mattie Timmer (Victoria University of Wellington) describes immune response as any action that your body takes against invading objects or microorganisms. In general, the action is to clear the body from whatever is invading. Compounds produced by the scientists (for drugs and vaccines) need to be seen as dangerous to the body so as to invoke an immune response.

Transcript

DR MATTIE TIMMER
An immune response is any action that your body takes against invading objects or microorganisms or viruses, bacteria, and I think in general the action is just to clear the body from whatever is invading.

So in terms of bacteria, it’s killing the bacteria, and in terms of viruses, it’s killing the viruses. In terms of foreign objects in your body, it just wants to get rid of them. So I think any process involved in those mechanisms is the immune response.

Immune responses actually come in various forms. So the immune response against bacteria is different than the immune response against a virus, for example. An immune response can go several ways, and the compounds that we try to develop are designed around the idea that we want to activate the immune response. Whatever we put into the body needs to seen as dangerous and needs to be cleared by the immune system and so that is the type of immune response that we are looking for.

Acknowledgement:
Lucas Rucchin, Istockphoto