We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Immunity?

By Emma Lloyd
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Immunity is a state in which the body is protected from infectious disease. It is conferred by the immune system, a complex network of cells, tissues and chemicals that fight infection and kill organisms when they invade the body. There are three categories of immune protection, all of which help protect the body from infectious diseases. It can be innate or acquired, active or passive, and natural or artificial. These categories can mix and match to produce, for example, natural passive or artificial passive immune protection.

The category of innate or acquired protection refers to the type of immune response that is mounted by the immune system. An innate immune response is not specific to the pathogen to which the system is responding, and it happens almost immediately when an infectious organism invades the body. In contrast, an acquired immune response is specific to the pathogen and can take several days to build up. The acquired immune response also involves the development of immunological memory, a state in which the immune system can quickly mount a response to an infectious organism that it has previously encountered.

Active or passive immune protection is determined by the way in which the protection is conferred. Protection that is active is conferred by contact with an infectious organism or a vaccine. This provokes an active immune response in the person who comes into contact with the organism. Passive immunity refers to the fact that an individual is protected, even though his or her immune system has not itself mounted a response. For example, the trans-placental transfer of antibodies from mother to child is a type of passive immune protection. Another example is the transfer of antibodies from mother to child in breast milk.

The third category, natural or artificial immunity, refers to whether the protection has developed with or without intervention. For example, trans-placental antibody transfer is a natural process, because it has occurred solely though an interaction between mother and fetus. If, after the baby was born, an antibody injection was administered, this would be an example of artificial protection, because the antibodies have been removed from one individual, purified, then injected into another. Vaccination is another example of artificial immune protection and is also an example of active acquired protection.

Vaccination and passive immune treatments are not the only ways to confer immune protection. It can be improved in many other ways, as has been demonstrated over the course of history. For example, improvements in sanitation, diet and pest control have contributed to the reduced severity of diseases and the increased life expectancy that people in developed countries enjoy now, compared to that of several hundred years ago.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By naturesgurl3 — On Oct 30, 2010

Did you know that there's also a close connection between protein and immunity?

Proper levels of protein are essential for producing white blood cells, one of the main components of the immune system.

Without having enough protein in your body, having poor protein absorption abilities, you could be riding for a fall with your immune system.

That's why it's important to eat a wide variety of foods that support each other. For instance, just upping your protein intake is good, but matching that increased protein intake with ginger is even better, since the ginger helps to break the protein down, which makes it easier for your body to absorb.

I'd suggest that anybody interested in boosting their immunity should talk to a nutritionist before they talk to a doctor -- a proper diet can go a long way in improving your health, and it's often a lot cheaper than medication.

Namaste!

By lightning88 — On Oct 30, 2010

Can anybody tell me what exactly is the importance of T cells for immunity? I keep hearing people talk about T cells, but I can't seem to get my head around what it is exactly that they do, or why they are important.

Could you help me out?

By pharmchick78 — On Oct 30, 2010

Immunity is one of those things that it's easy to take for granted -- until you get sick. Then you realize just how important immunity is to the body.

Fortunately, it's easy to keep your body in good shape, immunity wise.

First, and most importantly, get your vaccinations! Vaccinations and immunity go hand in hand, understandably. Though some people try to connect getting a vaccine with becoming immunity compromised, it's simply not true.

Nutrition also plays a key part in boosting immunity. By getting your five fruits and vegetables a day and eating a wide variety of foods, you can go a long way in boosting your innate immunity.

Finally, monitor yourself for a reduced immunity response. Just like you'd keep an eye on your car's function, pay attention to your body and listen to what it's telling you.

If you seem to be getting sick more often than usual, it could be your immune system telling you that it needs a little TLC.

So just remember to follow these few simple steps, and you'll go a long way in keeping your immune system active and effective.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.