At the summer Academy of Veterinary Consultants meeting, Amelia Woolums, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, Dipl. ACVM, University of Georgia, reminded veterinarians of the importance of the innate immune system in the bovine.
“The innate immune response is immediately and always active,” Woolums said. “It does not improve with repeated exposure.”
The acquired (or adaptive) immune response, however, takes several days or weeks to be fully active, and it improves with repeated exposure, or “memory”. The acquired immune system is the target of vaccination.
The healthy host animal is protected from attacks on almost any front because the innate and acquired systems respond on mucosal surfaces and in blood and tissue fluids.
Components of the innate immune system are:
• Physical or chemical barriers
– Skin, mucociliary elevator, gastric pH, urine flow
• Soluble factors
– in serum, secreIons, excreIons, tissue fluids
• Cellular factors
– granulocytes, macrophages, natural killer cells, gamma delta T cells, epithelial cells