This chapter describes the antibody arm of the adaptive immune system and how these proteins, produced by B lymphocytes, circulate throughout the body in blood and lymph and help remove microbes and other foreign matter found in these fluids. The structure of antibodies is described, as is the concept of antibody classes. The body is able to make literally billions of different antibodies, and the genetic “trick” that makes this possible is discussed. The concepts of immunological diversity and immunological memory as well as monoclonal antibodies are introduced.
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