Innate immunity includes both external and internal defenses. These defenses are always present in the body and represent the first line of defense against invasion by potential pathogens.
Invading pathogens, such as bacteria, that have crossed epithelial barriers enter connective tissues. These invaders—or chemicals, called toxins, secreted from them—may enter blood or lymphatic capillaries and be carried to other areas of the body. Innate immunological defenses are the first employed to counter the invasion and spread of infection. If these defenses are not sufficient to destroy the pathogens, lymphocytes may be recruited and their specific actions used to reinforce the nonspecific immune defenses.
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