• Created by: miz99
  • Created on: 04-12-17 13:53
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    • Antigens are molecules (proteins) that can generate an immune response when detected by the body.
      • They are usually found on the surface of cells, including all your body cells.
        • Antigens that aren't found in the body are known as foreign antigens- it's these antigens that the immune system usually responds to
          • Antigens allow the immune system to identify:
            • Pathogens- these are disease causing organisms, eg bacteria, virus and fungi. All pathogens have antigens on their surface- these are identified as foreign by immune system cells, which then respond to destroy the pathogen
            • Abnormal body cells- cancerous or pathogen infected cells have abnormal antigens on their surface, which trigger an immune response
            • Cells from other individuals of the same species- when you receive cells from another person, such as in an organ transplant or blood transfusions, those cells will have some antigens that are different from your own- unless the donor is genetically identical to you. The foreign antigen stimulates an immune response.
              • This response leads to the rejection of transplanted organs if drugs aren't taken to suppress the recipient's immune system.
                • For blood transfusions, the most important antigens are the ABO blood group antigens- if the donated blood contains A or B antigens that aren't recognised by the recipient's immune system, they will generate an immune response


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