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What are Antibodies

Antibodies are a very important part of our blood. They are very important to the immune systems of humans and animals (vertebrates). This post will tell you exactly what antibodies are.

What are Antibodies?

Antibodies are just proteins, but they have a very important function. Antibodies identify dangerous ‘foreign objects’ in the blood, such as bacterial and viruses. There are many different antibodies and they all have different structures. Each different type of antibody recognizes certain bacteria and viruses.

How Do They Work?

Antibodies are like tags that help the body identify dangerous objects. The body then destroys the objects. Here is a simple explanation for how they work. Every time you get sick, your body works out what objects (the viruses and bacteria) that are causing you to be sick. Your immune system works to destroy the virus or bacteria and then creates an antibody which will recognise the bacteria or virus if it ever enters you body again. This stops people contracting many diseases twice. You can only get the flu once a year, because your body recognises the virus if it tries to enter your system again. Unfortunately, the flu virus changes each year so your body won’t recognise the changed version.

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