Difference Between Humoral and Cell-Mediated Immunity

The induced immunity in organisms by the exposure of antigens is known as the active immunity. The active immunity is mediated by two distinct mechanisms known as Cell-mediated Immunity and Humoral Immunity. These two immunity pathways show a considerable amount of differences in their targets, components and the method of killing pathogens. The difference between humoral and cell-mediated immunity is given below in a tabular column.

Humoral vs Cell-Mediated Immunity

Humoral Immunity Cell-mediated Immunity
Humoral immunity is a component of adaptive immunity in which the B cells secrete antibodies that circulate as soluble proteins in the blood Cell-mediated Immunity is another component of adaptive immunity that is activated by the antigen-specific T cells
Antibodies are present Antibodies are absent
Protects against extracellular pathogens Protects against intracellular pathogens
Rapid onset Delayed onset
It is mediated by B cells, T cells and macrophages Mediated by cytotoxic T cells, helper T cells, macrophages and natural killer cells
Plasma B cells secrete antibodies T cells secrete cytokines

These were a few differences between humoral and cell-mediated immunity. The main difference between humoral immunity and cell-mediated immunity is that antibodies specific to antigens are produced in humoral immunity whereas antibodies are not produced in cell-mediated immunity.

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