The science of immunology mainly concentrates on the immune system, focusing on the function and interaction of the cellular and molecular components of the immune system. The study of the immune system in vertebrates includes the ‘innate immune system’ and the ‘Adaptive immune system’. Each of this system contains cellular and humoral components.
Humoral immunity refers to the type of immunity that is mediated by the cells which are present in the lymph and the blood or the so called “humors” of the human body. The theory of Humoral immunity finds its origin way back in 1890 by Hans Buchner who talked about the production of antibodies responsible for humoral immunity.
Humoral immunity is basically a kind of immunity achieved by the antibodies that are released to destruct target cells that are viewed by the body to be dangerous. The cellular component of immunity is responsible for the release of toxins that attack or directly kill the invaders. Humoral immunity basically works to complement cellular immunity and together are so designed that they help to ward off any threats to the body.
Humoral immunity finds its origin in the B-cells which are specialized cells found in the bone marrow. The T-cells identify the antigens and help the B-cells to produce the antibodies when they are stimulated by the adverse conditions. The B-cells present in the blood literally become antibody factories all ready to attack any unwanted invaders in the system.
All human beings are endowed with an innate immune system designed to identify several organisms and cells that can threaten the body. Humoral immunity is something that can be acquired by exposure to bacteria, viruses and other harmful substances in the environment. This kind of acquired or adaptive immune system is vital to growth as it makes the body develop new antibodies as and when required thus making it easy for the body to adapt to an environment.
In case of any disorder in the humoral immunity, a person becomes prone to various infections and diseases. HIV is a medical condition in which the immune system is directly attacked and thus becomes less functional. The use of certain drugs and medical treatments such as chemotherapy also affect the humoral immunity of a person exposing him to other health risks.
Humoral immunity involves both the primary immune response and a secondary immune response to an antigen. The primary immune response begins soon after being exposed to an antigen. The antibody that is produced, mainly IgM, occurs after 50 to 70 hours. In contrast the secondary immune response generates large quantities of IgG appearing within a span of 24 to 48 hours. Due to the repeated exposure with the antigens,the secondary immune response persists for a loner duration than the primary immune response.
Vaccinations mainly induce the primary immune response which can help the patient to produce the more effective and quicker secondary immune response when exposed to a pathogen. This is an important discovery in the science of immunology which has contributed to halting a number of infections and diseases.