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Bacteria and viruses are only two examples of the harmful pathogens that continually threaten the human body. But the immune system is a strong protective mechanism we have in place. The immune system, which is made up of a complex network of cells, tissues, and organs, works continuously to keep our bodies free from illnesses and infections. This interactive infographic will explore how the immune system's cells cooperate to defend against the influenza virus, a certain infection.


Influenza, also referred to as the flu, is an extremely transmissible respiratory infection caused by the influenza virus. The transmission occurs by tiny droplets released during coughing, sneezing, or speaking by an individual who is sick. The virus has the ability to remain viable on various surfaces for a duration of up to 24 hours, hence increasing the likelihood of transmission. Upon entering the body, the virus invades the cells of the respiratory system, resulting in symptoms such as elevated body temperature, coughing, Inflammation, and muscular ache.

Meet the Pathogen -Influenza Virus

Upon the entry of the influenza virus into the body, the initial immune response is triggered, primarily involving the skin and mucous membranes. The skin functions as a physical barrier, preventing the entry of infections into the body. The respiratory system contains mucous membranes that secrete mucus, which engulfs and eliminates foreign particles, such as the influenza virus.

First line of defense : Skin and Mucous Membranes

After penetrating the first barrier, the virus comes into contact with dendritic cells. These specialized cells function as constant guards of the immune system, continuously surveying the body for any external invaders. Dendritic cells phagocytose and degrade the influenza virus upon detection, breaking it into smaller fragments.

Sentinels of the Immune System:

Zunaira Neem

The Dynamic Dance of the Immune System: How Cells Work Together to Fight off Infections

Dendritic cells present the fragmented components of the influenza virus to helper T cells. The helper T cells serve as the central control unit of the immune system, transmitting signals to other immune cells to initiate the attack on the virus. In addition, they stimulate the activation of other immune cells, including as B cells and cytotoxic T cells, in order to combat the infection.

Calling for Backup: Helper T Cells


B cells have to assist with the production of antibodies, which are proteins that have the specialized function of targeting and neutralizing the influenza virus. The antibodies bind to the virus, thereby inhibiting its entry into and infection of other cells. In addition, they communicate to other immune cells to eliminate the virus.

The Power of Antibodies:B Cells

Killer T cells function as the primary effectors of the immune system. They specifically target and eliminate cells that are infected with the influenza virus. They achieve this by excreting cytotoxic compounds that eliminate the infected cells, so inhibiting viral replication and limiting the spread of the virus.

The Killers: Killer T Cells

Upon successful elimination of the influenza virus, certain B and T cells transform into memory cells within the immune system. These cells retain the distinct attributes of the virus, granting enduring immunity against subsequent infections. This is the reason why individuals who have previously contracted the flu are less susceptible to reinfection by the same virus strain.

Memory Cells: Lasting Protection

Zunaira Naeem

The Dynamic Dance of the Immune System: How Cells Work Together to Fight off Infections