20 Differences between Humoral Immunity and Cell mediated Immunity

Biology Educational Videos

Last Updated on July 8, 2020 by Sagar Aryal

Differences between Humoral Immunity and Cell mediated Immunity

Image Source: Pinterest.

Here are some differences:



Humoral Immunity

Cell-mediated Immunity

1.DefinitionThe 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.MediatorThe main cell involved in humoral immunity are B-cells. The main cell involved in cell-mediated immunity are T-cells.
3.ComponentsB cells, T cells, and macrophages.Helper T cells, cytotoxic T-cells, natural killer cells, and macrophages.
4.PathogenThe humoral immunity protects against extracellular pathogens and also their toxin.The cell-mediated immunity protects against intracellular pathogens.
5.Pathogen recognitionRecognize 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 detectorsPhagocytes and antibodies themselves are used to detect antigens.Receptors and MHC molecules on the cell surfaces are used to detect antigens.
7.Antigen BindingB-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 ProcessingDo not require the processing of antigens.Antigens must be processed and presented for T-lymphocyte mediated response.
9.Receptor InvolvedIt involves B-cell receptors (BCRs).It involves T-cell receptors (TCRs).
10.Accessory surface receptors/moleculesIgα, Igβ, Fc receptors, CD40, CD21CD3 molecular complex

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

11.Type of T-cell involvedOnly the T helper cell (CD4+) is involved.Both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells are involved.
12.Antibodies formationAntibodies are formed in a humoral response.Antibodies are not formed in a cell-mediated immune response.
13.OnsetThe onset is rapid.The onset is delayed.
14.ResultThe 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 againstExtracellular bacterial or viral pathogens.It protects against fungus, viruses, and intracellular bacterial pathogens.
16.Immunological surveillanceIt does not provide immunological surveillance.It provides immunological surveillance.
17.Hypersensitivity reactionsHypersensitivity 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 GraftingIt may be involved in early graft rejection due to preformed antibodies.It participates in rejections of organ transplants.
19.Immunity against cancerIt does not provide immunity against cancer.As it destroys the tumor and cancerous cells, it provides protection against cancer.
20.Assessment methodFrom plasma level of antibodiesSkin test for the development of delayed-type of hypersensitivity


  1. http://www.differencebetween.net/science/difference-between-humoral-and-cell-mediated-immunity/
  2. http://www.easybiologyclass.com/difference-between-cell-mediated-and-humoral-immunity-comparison-table/
  3. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/320180727_Difference_Between_Humoral_and_Cell_Mediated_Immunity
  4. http://howmed.net/pathology/comparison-of-humoral-and-cell-mediated-immunity/
  5. https://medicscenter.com/humoral-vs-cell-mediated-immunity/

Humoral and Cell mediated Immunity

4 thoughts on “20 Differences between Humoral Immunity and Cell mediated Immunity”

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.