What Is the Difference Between Cellular and Humoral Immunity?

Cell-mediated immunity uses T cells to tag and destroy foreign antigens, while humoral immunity utilizes B cells. The human immune system uses two types of immunity to fight disease: cellular, or cell-mediated, immunity and humoral immunity.

Cell-mediated immunity regulates T cells that circulate in the blood and respond to antigens tagged with the cellular surface protein called MHC. The T cells bind with the tagged MHC proteins and destroy them in cooperation with other immune functions. Humoral immunity uses B cells, or antibodies, in the blood serum to recognize antigens in the lymphatic system and blood stream. The B cells attach to the antigens, kill them, and differentiate to create memory cells specific to each antigen. These memory cells then target and destroy that particular antigen if it is detected again in the future.