Difference Between Active and Passive Immunity

Immunity is the body’s ability to destroy foreign materials and pathogens in order to prevent further infection. The first line of defence in a human body against pathogens is through barriers such as skin, saliva and mucus layers. This is known as innate immunity. The second line of defence is through phagocytes, this is again generated by innate immunity. The third line of defence is through adaptive immunity. Active immunity and passive immunity are two types of adaptive immunity. A prominent difference between active and passive immunity is that active immunity is developed due to the production of antibodies in one’s own body, while passive immunity is developed by antibodies that are produced outside. In this article, let us look at more differences between active and passive immunity.

Also Read: Immunity

Active Immunity vs Passive Immunity

Following are the important difference between active and passive immunity:
Active Immunity Passive Immunity
Active immunity is a permanent immunity produced by the antibodies of the host in response to a direct contact of an antigen Passive immunity is a short-term immunity produced by the introduction of antibodies from outside to the host
Immunity doesn’t occur immediately. A time lag occurs for its development Immunity develops immediately. There is no time lag
It generates an immunological memory Doesn’t generate immunological memory
When the antigens enter the body naturally, antibodies and specialised lymphocytes are induced by the body Antibodies are passed from a mother to a fetus through the placenta and to an infant via mother’s milk.
No side-effects It may cause reactions

Active immunity is attained by exposure to a pathogen. This leads to the production of antibodies in the body. The antigens present on the surface of the pathogens act as markers that bind to the antibodies.

Passive immunity is provided from the outside. It provides an immediate response to the infection.

Also Read: Difference between humoral and cell-mediated immunity

The listed were a few differences between active immunity and passive immunity. To know more differences like the difference between b cells and t cells, keep visiting BYJU’S.

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