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Proc Biol Sci. 2015 Dec 22;282(1821):20143085. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2014.3085.

Evolution of the immune system in humans from infancy to old age.

Author information

1
Nuffield Department of Medicine, Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 9DS, UK.
2
Department of Paediatrics, Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 9DS, UK.
3
Nuffield Department of Medicine Research Building, University of Oxford, Old Road Campus, Oxford OX3 7FZ, UK andrew.mcmichael@ndm.ox.ac.uk.

Abstract

This article reviews the development of the immune response through neonatal, infant and adult life, including pregnancy, ending with the decline in old age. A picture emerges of a child born with an immature, innate and adaptive immune system, which matures and acquires memory as he or she grows. It then goes into decline in old age. These changes are considered alongside the risks of different types of infection, autoimmune disease and malignancy.

KEYWORDS:

adaptive immunity; infections; innate immunity

PMID:
26702035
PMCID:
PMC4707740
DOI:
10.1098/rspb.2014.3085
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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