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Antibodies (also known as immunoglobulins), abbreviated Ig) are gamma globulin proteins that are found in blood or other bodily fluids of vertebrates, and are used by the immune system to identify and neutralize foreign objects, such as bacteria and viruses. They are typically made of basic structural units—each with two large heavy chains and two small light chains—to form, for example, monomers with one unit, dimers with two units or pentamers with five units. Antibodies are produced by a kind…

Bacteria

(microbiology) single-celled or noncellular spherical or spiral or rod-shaped organisms lacking chlorophyll that reproduce by fission; important as pathogens and for biochemical properties; taxonomy is difficult; often considered to be plants

Viruses

(virology) ultramicroscopic infectious agent that replicates itself only within cells of living hosts; many are pathogenic; a piece of nucleic acid (DNA or RNA) wrapped in a thin coat of protein

B cell

a lymphocyte derived from bone marrow that provides humoral immunity; it recognizes free antigen molecules in solution and matures into plasma cells that secrete immunoglobulin (antibodies) that inactivate the antigens

Immune system

a system considered analogous in structure or function to a living body

Infection

(medicine) the invasion of the body by pathogenic microorganisms and their multiplication which can lead to tissue damage and disease

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