-2
$\begingroup$

Why do we take antibiotics if our immune system already produces them? Is it because our body doesnt make enough or the specific complementary antibody to fit with the antigen?

$\endgroup$

closed as unclear what you're asking by rg255, MattDMo, AliceD, March Ho, James Jun 3 '16 at 1:30

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Perhaps you could respond to the answers — or this comment — to clarify whether you were really confusing antibiotics and antibodies, or whether you were interested in "innate immunity". $\endgroup$ – David Jun 1 '16 at 20:49
1
$\begingroup$

Since people and animals routinely get sick, it is obvious that our immune system (which includes but isn't limited to antibodies) doesn't always protect against pathogens. There are many reasons for this, far too many to summarize here, but one common reason is that it takes several days for the adaptive part of the immune system (which includes antibodies, among other things) to gear up and control an infection. Therefore, early treatment with antibiotics can help limit an infection before the immune system is fully engaged.

Pathogenic bacteria are often resistant to immunity in many ways as well; that's one of the adaptations that makes them pathogenic. That means that even later in an infection, antibiotics can supplement the immune response and help eliminate bacteria. Note that many antibiotics require a functional immune system to be completely effective.

$\endgroup$
0
$\begingroup$

We take antibiotics when our own immune system is insufficient to control infections. We do make antibiotics as localized defence systems

Defensins and cathelicidins belong to antimicrobial peptides (AMP), called also the natural antibiotics. They are found in Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes, also are synthesized in plants. These molecules were described in bacteria, invertebrates, vertebrates, also in mammals including humans.

But clearly these can be overwhelmed by bacteria resistant to their action, or by overwhelming rates of reproduction of invading bacteria

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3487008/

Our mammalian physiology has further evolved the innate immune system, and the adaptive immune system to cope with invasions that bypass these simple non-adaptive molecular defenses.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Please provide a citation for your quote. $\endgroup$ – MattDMo Jun 1 '16 at 18:33
0
$\begingroup$

I assume from your question (and your pseudonym) that you are confused by terminology. Our adaptive immune system does not make antibiotics, it makes antibodies. Antibiotics are small molecules that interfere with bacterial metabolism. Antibodies are proteins that recognise foreign macromolecules. (You could regard both as “anti-bacterials” — perhaps this is what you were thinking of — but the immune system is not restricted to recognizing bacteria.)

We take antibiotics when we have an infection from bacteria that have evaded the immune system.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ This isn't true. We do make antimicrobial peptides, which are essentially antibiotics. $\endgroup$ – MattDMo Jun 1 '16 at 18:34
  • $\begingroup$ @MattDMo The immune system makes antibiotics? I answered the question at the level it was asked. We are dealing with a first poster who is unfamiliar with scientific terms. We do not help him or anyone else by muddying our answers with esotericism. $\endgroup$ – David Jun 1 '16 at 18:54
  • $\begingroup$ Questions are simply a vehicle for producing answers. Remember, the point of Stack Exchange is not to answer an OP's specific question just for the OP, it is to produce a lasting repository of knowledge. If you're going to make an answer, make it an accurate, complete answer. Besides, antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are not "esoteric" - they're a vital part of the innate immune system. $\endgroup$ – MattDMo Jun 1 '16 at 19:05
  • $\begingroup$ @mattdmo To be strictly fair, David is correct since the original definition of an antibiotic was that it was s substance made by bacteria and fungi. But the internet and non scientific use, progress, and synthetic antibacterial agents has invalidated the original definition. $\endgroup$ – Graham Chiu Jun 1 '16 at 19:37
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ So sulfonamides were not initially called antibiotics, but antibacterial agents because they were synthetic. $\endgroup$ – Graham Chiu Jun 1 '16 at 19:39

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.