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The immune system defends our bodies from infections and disease. It is a group of organs working together to protect us from infectious organisms. The immune system serves it function by detecting a wide variety of agents known as pathogens. Pathogens are agents that cause disease. They could be classified from viruses to parasitic worms. When these pathogens are detected, the immune system recognizes that they are foreign or different from the organism’s healthy tissue and tries to eliminate them.
See the fact file below for more information on the immune system or alternatively, you can download our 24-page Immune System worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
PARTS & FUNCTIONS
- The immune system is a system of organs, vessel systems, cells, and proteins that work together.
- The main components of the immune system include white blood cells, antibodies, complement system, lymphatic system, spleen, bone marrow, and thymus.
WHITE BLOOD CELLS
- White blood cells are found in the bone marrow and a part of the lymphatic system.
- Think of the white blood cells as disease police.
- These cells run through the blood, blood vessels, and the body’s tissues as well.
- The duty of WBC’s is to patrol and look out for foreign invaders like bacteria, parasites, and fungi.
- Once an invader inside the body is found, WBCs would not think twice to attack.
- White blood cells contain lymphocytes, such as T-Cells and B-Cells; these are natural killers of pathogens.
- The antibody does not go against your body.
- In fact, it is like the children of your white blood cells.
- The antibody is not a cell, but a Y-shaped protein produced by white blood cells.
- It is used to neutralize or kill the pathogens it identifies.
- Think of the antibody as a strategic fighter that attacks the enemy on the weak spot.
- The weak spot of pathogens that antibodies attack is a unique molecule called the antigen.
- If the antibody is the fighter, the Complement System trains or coaches it. That is why it is called the Complement System; it complements or enhances the power of the antibody.
- The Complement System is like a team of proteins that is synthesized by the liver. These proteins circulate through the blood.
- The Lymphatic System is a network of intricate tubes throughout the body. Think of it as the station and terminal that deploy the team that fights diseases.
- It plays major roles in the body. Such as:
- Managing fluid levels in the body
- Reacting to bacteria
- Dealing with cancer cells
- Dealing with cell products that could result in other diseases or disorders
- Absorbing the fats we have eaten or consumed from the intestine
- The Lymphatic System is comprised of the following:
- Lymph nodes — trap microbes; also known as lymph glands
- Lymph — colorless fluid that contains infection-fighting white blood cells
- Lymph vessels — tubes in which lymph travels
- White blood cells, which function as lymphocytes
- The spleen is an organ focused on filtering blood. It functions by removing abnormal blood cells and makes the components of the immune system such as antibodies and lymphocytes.
- You can locate the spleen on the left side of the abdomen.
- An average healthy adult has a spleen weighing 200 grams.
- A spleen is a red and pulpy organ surrounded by a thick capsule.
- The spleen has white and red pulp.
- The red pulp consists of blood vessels interwoven with connective tissue.
- Inside the red pulp is the white pulp which consists of little lumps of lymphoid tissue. Antibodies are made inside the pulp.
- The bone marrow is spongy tissue found inside the bones.
- The bone marrow plays a major role in blood production, as it produces red blood cells that carry oxygen to the body, white blood cells that fight infection, and platelets needed for blood to clot.
- There are diseases and treatment that could affect or destroy the bone marrow. Without it, the cells in the blood cannot be produced.
- The thymus monitors the blood count.
- It also produces the white blood cells called T-lymphocytes.
DISEASES OF THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
- There are common disorders of the Immune System. Some are:
- Allergic Diseases — the immune system reacts strongly to allergens. Typical examples are allergy to food and to pets.
- Autoimmune Diseases — the immune system reacts against normal components of the body. Ranging from common to rare, they include diseases such as multiple sclerosis, autoimmune thyroid disease, type 1 diabetes, systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic vasculitis, and many lesser known diseases.
- Immunodeficiency — underactivity of the Immune System. As a result, a person will be prone to infections and diseases.
- Immunodeficiency could be inherited.
- Immunodeficiency could be a result of a medical treatment like chemotherapy for cancer patients.
- Immunodeficiency could be caused by other diseases such as HIV or AIDS.
Immune System Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the immune system across 24 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Immune System worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the immune system which defends our bodies from infections and disease. It is a group of organs working together to protect us from infectious organisms. The immune system serves it function by detecting a wide variety of agents known as pathogens. Pathogens are agents that cause disease. They could be classified from viruses to parasitic worms. When these pathogens are detected, the immune system recognizes that they are foreign or different from the organism’s healthy tissue and tries to eliminate them.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Immune System Facts
- Parts of the System
- Function Match
- Clue Crossword
- Good Guys, Bad Guys
- Defense Process
- Immune Illustration
- Decode the Disease
- Systems of the Body
- Lymphatic System
- Health Checklist
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Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.