An overview of the immune system
Mel Storey Trial manager, School of Medicine, Swansea University, Swansea
Sue Jordan Reader, School of Health Science, Swansea University, Swansea
The immune system comprises: physical and chemical barriers; the non-specific immune mechanisms, which bring about inflammation; and the specific immune system, which recognises and memorises foreign antigens [see glossary on page 55]. The immune system depends on white blood cells that play a key role in protecting the body from invasion by pathogenic microorganisms, infection and disease, particularly cancers. Disorders or disturbances of the immune system can leave the patient vulnerable to infection.
Nursing Standard. 23, 15,47-56. doi: 10.7748/ns2008.12.23.15.47.c6738
Published in print: 17 December 2008Peer review
This article has been subject to double blind peer review