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What are Antibodies?

Source : sciencenewsforstudents

Now that people are actually going through a pandemic, there are various questions about what are antibodies and how do they look like?

Antibodies are known as the Y-shaped proteins which look like lock and key which are otherwise known as viruses, bacteria’s, fungi and parasites.

They are released from the cells, and they are known as the search battalion of the immune system which protects the body and does not allow these viruses to enter.

What do antibodies look like?

Antibodies
Source : livescience

The antibodies are like a Y shape, and the Y on the top is known as the antigen. The
antigen present in the antibodies can be a molecule or a type of molecular fragment.

The bottom part of the antibody is known as the stalk, which binds with other immune system
compounds that can kill the antigen or mobilize the immune system in some other ways.

All the antibodies almost have the same shape, but they appear different and work differently.

Where do the antibodies form?

Source : healthcareinamerica

Before you understand the formation and other details about antibodies, it is essential to understand the B-cells which are known as the white blood cells, and they form in the bone marrow.

There are trillions of B-cells present in each person’s body, and all of them have a different level of antibody which sits on the surface of the B-cell. In every B-cell, the coding of the antibody is shuffled differently, just like a deck of cards.

The rearrangements of these cells and antibodies are enormous and cannot be described easily.

Majority of times, the B-cells won’t bind anything, but there are sometimes when B-cells do bind some foreign substance after that the B-cells start to grow and divide in various sizes which are called ‘clonal expansion’.

These small cells are just a copy of the B-cells, just like the parents. The B-cells secrete around 10,000 antibodies every second, and they can keep on doing that for weeks or even years.

If you think of the B-cells as the lock, then all these other cells that are floating around are
the keys.

Antibodies
Source : britannica

Some keys will fit properly, while the other won’t, and it depends on the surface of the B-cells.

The human body doesn’t produce just one type of antibody because it produces a variety of them to protect the immune system.

Every antibody performs different tasks as not all of them are the same and they have their own areas to protect inside the body.

In general, our body’s immune system is amazing, and they can fight these cells, but sometimes there are situations when the body isn’t able to recognize the enemy cells and let them in which causes the virus and makes a person fall sick.

The antibody tests help in recognizing all these harmful cells and also if the person is immune to catching any virus or not.

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