What Do Antibodies Do?


Quick Answer

Antibodies work by inhibiting the antigen so that the antigen does not harm the person. Antibodies also call up other cells or proteins to eradicate the foreign materials. Antibodies can bind to a toxin or to a certain bacteria to stop the bacteria from infecting other cells.

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Full Answer

Antibodies, a type of specialized protein, can turn on complement, or a protein group found in the immune system, that help kill antigens. Antibodies can twist their shape so that they can bind to their targets effectively. Antibodies might be enough to coat a virus and stop infection. Against bacteria, antibodies act as markers for other cells in the immune system to recognize and destroy the bacteria. T cells help antibodies by destroying antigen.

The human body contains millions of types of antibodies. The blood cells that produce antibodies, called lymphocytes, create different types of antibodies through recombination of genes. Small changes are made to each antibody so that the right kind of antibody can be used when an infection occurs. Antibodies are an important part of the immune system because once they are made to fight against a certain antigen, they are stored inside the body to be used against the same antigen in the future.

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