Immune Functions and Mechanisms in the Gastrointestinal Tract

Authored by: Alix Dubert-Ferrandon , David S. Newburg , Allan W. Walker

Handbook of Prebiotics

Print publication date:  January  2008
Online publication date:  January  2008

Print ISBN: 9780849381713
eBook ISBN: 9780849381829
Adobe ISBN:

10.1201/9780849381829.ch7

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Abstract

The immune system is distributed throughout the body to provide defense to the host against a variety of pathogens. It can be categorized into a number of anatomically different compartments that develop specific immune responses dependent upon the body tissue considered. Mucosal surfaces are part of the immune system; they are composed of the respiratory, genitourinary, and gastrointestinal tracts. They are all thin permeable barriers that allow exchanges between the exterior and the interior of the body, rendering them susceptible to infection.

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