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Infectious diseases - immunity

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Immunity and vaccinations

The human immune system recognises and destroys pathogens inside the body. Pathogens, such as bacteria and viruses, cause damage and disease when they grow and reproduce. Vaccination enables the body to respond more quickly to future infection by that pathogen.

Highly-magnified, digitally-colourised image of the virus H1N1, sometimes called "swine flu".
Photo courtesy of CDC/Cynthia Goldsmith