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How does the body protect itself from pathogens?

The body has many ways in which it can protect against pathogens (which are microorganisms which cause disease, such as harmful bacteria or viruses). 

White blood cells are key in protecting against pathogens. They ingest the harmful microorganisms (they surround them and take them up - a bit like eating them, but you must use the word ingest).

Pathogens can produce harmful chemicals called toxins, and white blood cells produce antitoxins to destroy these.

Certain white blood cells called lymphocytes are responsible for producing the antibodies which destroy specific pathogens by detecting antigens (foreign chemicals released by the pathogen). Antibodies can bind to pathogens and damage/destroy them, or clump them together for easy ingestion by another type of white blood cell, the phagocyte.

Leanne R. GCSE Chemistry tutor, GCSE Biology tutor, A Level Chemistry...

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