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So I know that memory cells "remember" the most efficient way to kill a pathogen should it show up again... but what is the mechanism by which memory cells become activated by the second contact with a pathogen? How do they interact with the other immune cells to enhance immunity?

For example: phagocytes engulf pathogens and plasma cells release antibodies, but what do the memory cells actively do?

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I think memory cells will efficiently do clonal expansion so that it can produce immune cells which can actually remove the pathogens quickly compared to the first time as it now remembers the method it used before.

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    $\begingroup$ Can you provide evidence for why you think this? Unsourced or opinions can/will be challenged. $\endgroup$ – kmm Mar 18 '18 at 16:56
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    $\begingroup$ Sure, I read it from Immunobiology: The Immune System in Health and Disease. 5th edition. $\endgroup$ – Sarannya E Mar 20 '18 at 5:20
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  • On the first entry of a pathogen a division of B cells produce memory cells that remember the details about the pathogen to protect the body during it's next entry.

  • On the second entry of pathogen, the memory cells get activated and activate the remaining cells of immune system to kill it.

    • This is basically a part of Secondary immune response which lasts longer than primary immune response( the response where the memory cell encounters the pathogen for the first time).

The process of activation of memory cells is still unknown and scientists are working on it.

The Secondary immune response makes a person immune to various diseases. That's why, a person surviving disease like Chicken pox, Small pox, Measles, etc. gets lifetime immunity to such diseases.

The concept of vaccinations are also based on the concept of "memory" of our immune system.

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  • $\begingroup$ One the first entry of a pathogen some B cells produce memory cells that remember the details about the pathogen to protect the body during it's next entry. The process of activation of memory cells is still unknown and scientists are working on it. $\endgroup$ – A.V.S.Pritham Feb 14 '18 at 11:26
  • $\begingroup$ Edited the answer. Hope you understood the answer. $\endgroup$ – A.V.S.Pritham Feb 14 '18 at 11:35

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