Humoral vs Cell mediated Immunity- Definition, 20 Differences

Differences between Humoral Immunity and Cell mediated Immunity

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Here are some differences:



Humoral Immunity

Cell-mediated Immunity

1. Definition The immunity mediated by macromolecules found in the extracellular body fluids is called humoral immunity. (“humor” a medieval term for body fluid) The immunity that identifies and destroys infected cells in the body is called cell-mediated immunity.
2. Mediator The main cell involved in humoral immunity are B-cells. The main cell involved in cell-mediated immunity are T-cells.
3. Components B cells, T cells, and macrophages. Helper T cells, cytotoxic T-cells, natural killer cells, and macrophages.
4. Pathogen The humoral immunity protects against extracellular pathogens and also their toxin. The cell-mediated immunity protects against intracellular pathogens.
5. Pathogen recognition Recognize antigens or pathogens that are circulating in the lymph or blood.  It responds to any cell that displays aberrant MHC markers, including cells invaded by pathogens, tumor cells, or transplanted cells.
6. Antigen detectors Phagocytes and antibodies themselves are used to detect antigens. Receptors and MHC molecules on the cell surfaces are used to detect antigens.
7. Antigen Binding B-cells produce antibodies and the antibodies bind to antigens. T-cell receptors on cells bind to T-cells which in turn bind to antigens.
8. Antigen Processing Do not require the processing of antigens. Antigens must be processed and presented for T-lymphocyte mediated response.
9. Receptor Involved It involves B-cell receptors (BCRs). It involves T-cell receptors (TCRs).
10. Accessory surface receptors/molecules Igα, Igβ, Fc receptors, CD40, CD21 CD3 molecular complex

Dimer of ∑ chain, CD4, CD8, CD2, CD28, integrins

11. Type of T-cell involved Only the T helper cell (CD4+) is involved. Both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells are involved.
12. Antibodies formation Antibodies are formed in a humoral response. Antibodies are not formed in a cell-mediated immune response.
13. Onset The onset is rapid. The onset is delayed.
14. Result The end result of the activation is the differentiation of plasma B-cells, secreting antibodies. The end result of the activation is the secretion of cytokines.
15. Protection against Extracellular bacterial or viral pathogens. It protects against fungus, viruses, and intracellular bacterial pathogens.
16. Immunological surveillance It does not provide immunological surveillance. It provides immunological surveillance.
17. Hypersensitivity reactions Hypersensitivity type I, II, and III is mediated by humoral immunity. Hypersensitivity type IV is mediated by cell-mediated immunity.
18. Role in Organ transplantation and Grafting It may be involved in early graft rejection due to preformed antibodies. It participates in rejections of organ transplants.
19. Immunity against cancer It does not provide immunity against cancer. As it destroys the tumor and cancerous cells, it provides protection against cancer.
20. Assessment method From plasma level of antibodies Skin test for the development of delayed-type of hypersensitivity



Humoral and Cell mediated Immunity

About Author

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Sagar Aryal

Sagar Aryal is a microbiologist and a scientific blogger. He is doing his Ph.D. at the Central Department of Microbiology, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal. He was awarded the DAAD Research Grant to conduct part of his Ph.D. research work for two years (2019-2021) at Helmholtz-Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS), Saarbrucken, Germany. Sagar is interested in research on actinobacteria, myxobacteria, and natural products. He is the Research Head of the Department of Natural Products, Kathmandu Research Institute for Biological Sciences (KRIBS), Lalitpur, Nepal. Sagar has more than ten years of experience in blogging, content writing, and SEO. Sagar was awarded the SfAM Communications Award 2015: Professional Communicator Category from the Society for Applied Microbiology (Now: Applied Microbiology International), Cambridge, United Kingdom (UK). Sagar is also the ASM Young Ambassador to Nepal for the American Society for Microbiology since 2023 onwards.

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