The immune system of higher vertebrates, such as humans, has multiple lines of defense against invading microorganisms. The first line is a physical and chemical barrier formed by the skin, mucous membranes and their secretions to prevent the entrance of microorganisms into the body.1-3 The second line consists of proteins (e.g. complement)4 and immune cells (e.g. macrophages, granulocytes, natural killer cells) which are the components of the innate immune system.5-6 Finally, the third line concerns the adaptive immune system with T and B lymphocytes specifically interacting with the invading pathogen. These cells do not only recognize pathogen with a specific antigen receptor, they also adapt their response during an infection to improve recognition of the pathogen and they generate long-term immunological memory.

J.J.M. van Dongen (Jacques)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
The studies were financially supported by the Department of Immunology, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and partly by Ter Meulen Fund - Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and Nestlé Nutrition
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Berkowska, M.A. (2012, November 28). Generation of an immunocompetent B-cell Repertoire. Erasmus University Rotterdam. Retrieved from