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A significant amount of our bodies attention is devoted to preventing the invasion of the microbes that are living on us. In this chapter we began our journey through the amazing array of compounds, proteins, cells and organs that are part of our immune system. Every tissue and organ in the body has systems that will prevent and eliminate infection and here we looked at the non-inducible part of the system, innate immunity. The two major arms of innate immunity are inflammation and phagocytes. Inflammation is the warning system that alerts the rest of the immune system that something is wrong, while phagocytes are the infantry of our immune system whose job is to clean out whatever is causing the infection. While innate immunity is powerful, many pathogenic microbes have developed defenses against it. In the next chapter we will look at adaptive immunity and how it combines with innate immunity to defeat almost all infectious agents.
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