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). 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).
  3. 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

Innate immunity, or nonspecific immunity, is referred to as the body’s first line of defense against foreign pathogens entering the body. Innate immunity includes antibacterial enzymes in our mucosal membranes, our skin, and phagocytes, or scavenger cells as they are referred. There are a total of nine enzymes which are all activated in order which escalates the immune systems response against any detected pathogen. These enzymes can mark foreign substances for scavenger cells to attack, attract immune system cells, destroy the wall of foreign bacteria, and destroy the viral envelopes of or infected cells.

As the secondary line of defense, adaptive immunity targets specific pathogens. This is activated when innate immunity is insufficient. Adaptive immunity first identifies specific pathogens which can delay an effective immune response. However once identified, this immune response is more accurate. With this memory system, if there is a future encounter with this specific pathogen, the adaptive immune system is faster to respond.

There are many factors that can limit or impair our immune system. Illness, chronic disease, and nutrition all play a vital role in the efficacy of our immune system’s ability to perform. Our immune system can be weakened by chronic disease such as diabetes, HIV and cancer. Furthermore, medical treatments such as chemotherapy can suppress our immune system as it kills off cells vital for immune response. An increase in cortisol levels also plays a role in limiting our immune system functions, as well as nutrition.

Children have a more active innate immune system than adults (Lu, 2021). During acute phases of infection, children activate a greater number of neutrophils, which secrete proteins that kill cells infected with virus. This greatly improves their immunity.

A consequence of aging in to our elderly years comes a decline in our immune system with a diminished efficient response while encountering pathogens. These widespread effects include a slowing of the production rate of B and T cells produced in bone marrow.

Chronic disease can limit the capacity of the body’s immune system. Several disease processes can prevent the immune system from operating at full capacity or prevent the production of B/T cells and antibodies. Medications to treat disease can also inhibit the immune system.

The Complement System was discovered as a heat-labile component of normal plasma that augments the opsonization of bacteria by antibodies and allows antibodies to kill some bacteria. It is said to “compliment” the antibacterial activity of an antibody (Janeway, 2001). This complex system is made of a large amount of specific plasma proteins that react with on another to opsonize pathogens and start an inflammatory response to help fight infection.

Macrophages are large cells that ingest and degrade of foreign materials, debris, tumor cells and dead cells via phagocytosis. These cells clean the immune system and remove waste.

Dendritic, a type of immune cell, live on the outer surface tissues of the body, travel through lymph, and boost the immune response by showing antigens on it’s surface to other cells of the immune system.

Mast cells play a pivotal role in how our immune system responds to specific pathogens and help control other immune responses. These contain histamines, heparin, cytokines and growth factors. These cells also provide proinflammatory functions.

Neutrophils assist in the prevention of infection by blocking or disabling pathogens. These cells are constantly scanning our system for pathogens. They are the “first responders” of our immune system.

Basophils are another type of granulocyte, they are least abundant in the body however do work to defend from allergens, pathogens and parasites. These cells also release enzymes that aid in the improvement of blood flow and prevent blood clotting.

T-cells (T-helper cells) stem from bone marrow. Not only are they great for defending against infection but also fight off some cancer cells. T cells directly kill infected cells and also activate other immune cells to aid in regulating the immune system.

B-cells (antibodies/ memory B cells) are lymphocytes hat create specific proteins as antibodies that fight specific infection. These antibodies bind to pathogens to neutralize the invader. These can bind to virus which prevent the virus from entering cells.


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. [Internet]. Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG); 2006-. The innate and adaptive immune systems. [Updated 2020 Jul 30]. Available from:

Lu D. (2021). Children’s immunity at risk. New scientist (1971)250(3332), 8–9.

Montecino-Rodriguez, E., Berent-Maoz, B., & Dorshkind, K. (2013). Causes, consequences, and reversal of immune system aging. The Journal of clinical investigation123(3), 958–965.

Bagatini, M. D., Cardoso, A. M., Reschke, C. R., & Carvalho, F. B. (2018). Immune System and Chronic Diseases 2018. Journal of immunology research2018, 8653572.

Janeway CA Jr, Travers P, Walport M, et al. Immunobiology: The Immune System in Health and Disease. 5th edition. New York: Garland Science; 2001. The complement system and innate immunity. Available from: