The adaptive immune system responds to microbial invasion by producing protective antibodies or cell-mediated immunity, or both. Appropriate administration of specific microbial antigens, as in a vaccine, can provoke effective, longterm resistance to infection. Conserved microbial molecules can also stimulate the development of innate immune responses. This too enhances resistance to infection and may be clinically useful.
Last full review/revision August 2013 by Ian Tizard, BVMS, PhD, DACVM; Susan L. Payne, PhD