With the coronavirus wreaking havoc across the world, there is a renewed interest in the field of medicine. A lot of people want to know how things work and one thing that seems to be the center of attention is antibodies. After all, these are the things that make sure your body stays healthy and is able to fend off any attack from the virus. It is important to know these things to make sure that you take good care of yourself. We want to find out more about what antibodies are and how you can get them as well.
What Are Antibodies?
Technically speaking, antibodies are a special kind of protein cheap like a Y that can attach themselves to any foreign element in the body like a key entering a lot. The foreign elements can be anything changing from bacteria, viruses, parasites, worms, or fungi. They are basically like scouts that constantly patrol your body to find these foreign elements and immediately tell the body to attack them before they can harm you.
Cells release antibodies to go and look for possible ingredients in the body. As soon as they find their target, antibodies attach themselves to the target and what follows is a chain reaction that eventually leads to the target getting destroyed.
The immune system is quite big and complex, and antibodies belong to the part that we call the “adaptive” immune system. The purpose of this part is to find and learn about new elements in the body that have previously not been present. This process of recognition and learning is what develops our immune system and makes it stronger.
How Do Antibodies Form?
To get the answer to this question, you need to know what B-cells are. These are white blood cells that the body forms in its bone marrow. The body has approximately one trillion B-cells and every single cell has its own specific IgM antibody. The antibody states on the cells surface and only binds to one antigen. Having memory for recognizing an enormous number of foreign elements means your body can pretty much learn about anything that enters in it.
It is the B cells that actually patrol the body, looking for any possible intruder that may enter the body. They spend a relatively longer time around the tonsils and lymph nodes searching for fallen elements that may enter through those areas. Most of the time they do not see anything and continue to go about their patrol. However, as soon as they find something that does not belong in the body, the cells immediately react by starting the required remedial action. Call the “clonal expansion”, this process involves the B-cells growing in size and multiplying at a staggering rate. Within a week, your body may produce up to a million copies of that specific cell. Each of these cells will secrete up to 100,000 antibodies every second and continue doing so for weeks or even years.
Each B-cell produces a different type of antibody and produces it in a different quantity from other B-cells. Every antibody plays its role in a unique manner and the body can produce a large variety of antibodies.
Given the current situation that we are in due to the coronavirus, there is a huge focus on antibodies and the covid antibody test. Antibodies are a key factor in a lot of different medicines, and it is important for us to respect them and learn about them as much as we can. After all, this is the very thing that is responsible for keeping us safe from any external threats to our body for the foreseeable future.