I recently attended a Leukemia and Lymphoma Society lecture in which one of the lecturers indicated that there are fundamental differences between the adaptive immune systems of higher primates and other animals.
The Wikipedia article on adaptive immune system seems to indicate that mammals share very similar adaptive immune systems.
I understand that there are (minor) differences between the B cells and T cells (and other cells) of different species, and that two species can differ in their susceptibility to a particular kind of pathogen (virus, bacteria, whatever), depending on small differences in cell surface proteins, etc. I am not interested in these kinds of small differences.
Rather, I would like to know if there are any fundamental differences between the adaptive immune systems of humans (and other higher primates) as compared to other mammals. For instance, are there particular kinds of adaptive immune cells in primates that don't appear in other mammals. Or are there fundamentally different mechanisms (e.g. the mechanism of T-cells activating B-cells) or lymphatic system organs that are markedly different in higher primates as compared to other mammals.
In short, are there big differences in the immune system of higher primates that make them stand apart from the other mammals in the same dramatic way that thumbs and intelligence seem to separate them from other species?