NUR 631 Topic 2 DQ 2

Sample Answer for NUR 631 Topic 2 DQ 2 Included After Question

Answer both of the following discussion questions for your discussion response using the “Discussion Forum Sample.”

  1. Explain the differences between innate and adaptive immunity. Explain the differences between the primary and secondary line of defense. What factors interfere with these mechanisms? How are these levels of immunity affected in a child, an elderly person, or a person with a chronic disease?
  2. Explain the complement system and the roles of macrophage, dendritic cells, mast cells, neutrophils, basophils, natural killer cells, T-cells (T-helper cells, cytotoxic T-cells, memory T-cells, and T-regulatory cells), and B-cells (antibodies and memory B-cells).

A Sample Answer For the Assignment: NUR 631 Topic 2 DQ 2

Title: NUR 631 Topic 2 DQ 2

  1. The innate immune system is the body’s first line of defense against germs entering the body (Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG), 2020). The innate immune system consists of protection offered by the skin and mucus membranes as well as the immune systems defense cells and proteins (Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG), 2020). In contrast, the adaptive immune system takes over if the innate immune system is unable to destroy germs (Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG), 2020). The adaptive immune system specifically targets the type of germ causing the infection (Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG), 2020). When comparing primary and secondary lines of defense, the body’s primary line of defense refers to physical and chemical barriers used to defend against invading pathogens (McCance et al., 2018). In contrast, the body’s secondary line of defense refers to the body’s more specific and adaptive immune response and includes both innate and acquired immunity (McCance et al., 2018). Many factors can interfere with the many mechanisms of the body’s immune system. Some of these include: stress, age, body composition, lifestyle factors, gut flora, and medications (McCance et al., 2018). When looking at different age groups and the affect on the immune system, the immune system’s capacity specifically declines with age after 70 years of age (McCance et al., 2018). Children in comparison have an innate, immature and adaptive immune system that matures and acquires memory and strength with age (McCance et al., 2018). With someone who has a chronic disease like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, the risk of developing various infections can be higher (McCance et al., 2018).
  2. The complement system is part of the body’s immune system that cleans up damaged cells, helps the body heal after an injury or infection and destroys microscopic organisms that cause sickness (McCance et al., 2018). Macrophages are a type of white blood cell that surrounds and kills microorganisms, removes dead cells, and stimulates the action of other immune system cells (Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG), 2020). Dendritic cells are a special type of immune cell that is found in the skin or other tissues and boosts the immune response by showing antigens on its surface to other cells of the immune system (Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG), 2020).
  3. Mast cells play an important role in how the immune system responds to certain bacteria and parasites and they help control other types of immune response (Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG), 2020). Neutrophils are a type of white blood cell that is an important part of the immune system and helps the body fight infection as a first-line responder to bacterias and viruses (Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG), 2020). Basophils are a type of white blood cell that defends the body from allergens, pathogens and parasites (McCance et al., 2018). Natural killer T cells are a type of T cell that can kill invading microorganisms, such as bacteria and viruses and cancer cells, by releasing cytokines (McCance et al., 2018). T-helper cells are immune cells produced by the thymus and activate other immune cells to fight an infection when it’s sensed in the body (McCance et al., 2018).
  4. Cytotoxic T cells are a type of immune cell that can kill foreign cells including cancer cells and cells infected with a virus (McCance et al., 2018). Cytotoxic T cells can be separated from other blood cells, grown in the laboratory, and then given to a patient to kill cancer cells (McCance et al., 2018). Memory T cells are antigen-specific T cells that remain in the body long after an infection has been eliminated (McCance et al., 2018). Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are a specialized subpopulation of T cells that act to the suppress immune response, which helps maintain homeostasis and self-tolerance (McCance et al., 2018). B lymphocytes, also called B cells, create a type of protein called an antibody (McCance et al., 2018). These antibodies bind to pathogens or to foreign substances, such as toxins, to neutralize them (McCance et al., 2018). Once B-cells are activated, they become plasma cells that produce antibodies in response to an antigen (McCance et al., 2018). Or they become memory cells that remember the antigen so your immune system can quickly identify and fight it in the future (McCance et al., 2018).

Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG). (2020, July 30). The innate and adaptive immune systems. – NCBI Bookshelf.

McCance, K.L., Huether, S. E., Brashers, V. L., Rote, N. S. (2019). Pathophysiology: The biologic basis for disease in adults and children (Eighth ed.). Elsevier.

A Sample Answer 2 For the Assignment: NUR 631 Topic 2 DQ 2

Title: NUR 631 Topic 2 DQ 2

The innate immune system and the adaptive immune system are essential components of the immune system. These two systems collaborate closely and perform distinct functions. The immune system protects the body against harmful microorganisms and other foreign substances in the skin, tissues, and blood. The skin and mucous membranes are the primary defensive mechanisms of the innate immune system, which also provide secondary protection. For instance, it ensures that any germs that have penetrated the skin through a tiny cut are identified and eliminated within a few hours after entry. However, the innate immune system can only do so much to prevent the spread of infection (McCance & Huether, 2019).

The adaptive immune system steps in when the body’s innate immune system cannot eliminate harmful microbes. It works by countering only the particular strain of the offending microbe. But it can’t kill the germ unless it recognizes it. It takes longer to respond than the innate immune system, but it is more precise when it does. The adaptive immune system has the added benefit of “remembering” previously met germs, allowing for a more rapid response the next time a known pathogen is encountered (McCance & Huether, 2019).

Antigens produced by immune cells in response to specific pathogens help train the immune system to recognize and destroy those pathogens in the future. The inflammatory response, for example, is triggered when the first line of defense is broken. Vasodilation brings a flow of immune cells to the location, which dilutes bacterial toxins and destroys infectious pathogens. Infants are more susceptible to bacterial and viral illnesses than adults because they are born with their immune systems suppressed. Babies born prematurely generally have low surfactant levels and protein intake, which can contribute to respiratory discomfort and infections in the respiratory system.

As we age, we lose subcutaneous fat, which slows down our body’s main line of defense, or innate immunity. The inflammatory process, the body’s second line of defense, also declines with age, making it harder for the elderly to fight against infections. Mobility and sensory issues are also common among the elderly, increasing their risk for urinary tract infections and pneumonia. Wound healing may be slowed in a person with a chronic illness, like diabetes Mellitus, and sometimes anti-inflammatory drugs like corticosteroids may also not work (McCance & Huether, 2019).

The macrophage’s primary function is the ingestion and digestion of germs. Old RBCs can also be eliminated this way.

 Mast cells are mediated by Histamine release, which may be located in the connective tissue surrounding blood cells on the body’s outer borders.

 Neutrophils are the primary form of white blood cell that attacks and breaks down infectious pathogens.

Basophils are found in the blood, fight parasitic infections, and regulate histamine in allergic reactions. 

Dendritic cells are immune cells that take in antigens and transmit them to other immune cells.

 The most common form of white blood cell, neutrophils responsible for destroying and digesting pathogens.

The cells of viruses and tumors are the primary targets of natural killer cells.

They aid every other type of immune cell. The Helper T cells are indispensable. Helper T cells stimulate cytotoxic T cells’ production, eliminating the invaders afterward.

 Helper T cells facilitate antibody production and secretion by B cells. They store the antibody structure in memory, allowing rapid antibody production in response to subsequent infections (McCance & Huether, 2019). 


McCance, K. L., & Huether, S. E. (2019). Pathophysiology: The biologic basis for disease in adults and children (8th ed.). Elsevier.