Allergic Diseases

Question: What is the major disadvantage of the adaptive immune system?

Answer:

The disadvantage of the adaptive immunes response is that the required expansion process takes time after the first encounter with antigen, in some cases more than 2 weeks. Many infectious agents can cause death or severe disability in less time than it takes the adaptive immune system to mobilize a specific response. This disadvantage leaves a gap in the host defense system.

Reference:  Abbas AK, Lichtman AH: Cellular and Molecular Immunology, 5th ed. Philadelphia, W.B. Saunders, 2003.

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