The Love Story of Manson and Maura
Created on January 26, 2024
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Timmy always loved going to the lake because swimming in the water was his favorite summer activity.
Unbeknownst to Timmy, Manson and Maura, a couple of microscopic parasites known as Schistosoma mansoni, eagerly awaited the opportunity to find a new host in the form of an unsuspecting victim.
As Timmy played, Manson and Maura seized the opportunity by infiltrating Timmy's skin.
Skin - one of the physical defense barriers of the innate immune system.
As Manson entered the host, he looked around him and realized he had lost Maura in the crowd of other Schistosomes attempting to migrate. He knew the only way to find her would be to travel to the liver and meet with her there.
Soon after setting off on his journey, Manson soon realized that Timmy was a lively host full of various cells, including Natural Killer Cells, the self-proclaimed protectors of the host. They often accused newcomers like Manson of being Pathogens, stirring up trouble for the parasite. Fortunatley, Manson was able to slip past the Natural Killer Cell and lose him in the busy veins.
Natural Killer Cell - NK cells constantly monitor the host's cells for any signs of abnormality or infection. When they encounter cells that deviate from the norm, NK cells can initiate a response to eliminate these perceived threats.
A Pathogen is a microbe (bacteria, virus, fungi, or parasite) that causes a disease.
As Manson navigated through the crowded host, he encountered Differentiated Leukocytes in the form of a group of bullies led by neutrophils. Alongside the Neutrophils stood Monocytes, Macrophages, Cytotoxic T Cells, Follicular Dendritic Cells, and Plasma Cells, these bullies studied Manson and debated wether he was a threat or not. Before they could finish, the innate immune cells attacked as they didn’t care if they recognized Manson or not, but luckily Manson was able to escape during the commotion.
Follicular Dendritic Cell - assist in the differentiation process, helping B cells recognize and respond to Manson by presenting antigens.
Monocyte - Monocytes are another type of white blood cell that can differentiate into macrophages.
Cytotoxic T Cell - are actively targeting Manson, aiming to eliminate infected host cells and prevent the spread of the parasite.
Neutrophil - Neutrophils act as immediate "first responders" to Manson's presence, attempting to eliminate the perceived threat.
Plasma Cell - contribute to the immune response by producing antibodies specific to Manson.
Macrophage - Macrophages are phagocytes that engulf and digest foreign particles.
Differentiated- eliminate the perceived threat through various mechanisms such as phagocytosis, cytotoxicity, and antibody production. Leukocytes- Leukocytes collectively participate in the immune response, working together to recognize and eliminate Manson as a potential threat.
Despite the challenges, Manson was determined to find his beloved Maura. He knew he had to continue his journey towards the liver. Along the way he encountered cells known as T cells that had recently left the thymus talking with an Antigen Presenting Cell covered in it's victims knows as antigens. Manson overheard them talking about initiating the adaptive immune response to deal with the invaders. Manson could tell it was best to avoid these cells and was able to hide behind some red blood cells and allow the cells to pass.
T Cells - produced in the Thymus. The cell-mediated immune response involves the activation of T cells to directly attack and eliminate infected cells.
Antigen Presenting Cells present antigens from phagocytized pathogens that invade the body.
As Manson continued to travel, he kept having to evade the countless defenders being thrown at him. Unbeknownst to Manson, The Bone Marrow, a relentless enemy, kept producing these defenders, making Manson's journey even more perilous.
Bone Marrow - a vital organ involved in the production of blood cells, including white blood cells (leukocytes), which are essential components of the immune system.
Later into his journey, Manson encountered Helper T Cells accompanied by a B cell. These cells worked together to create antibodies. Those antibodies could cause manson some trouble at this stage in his development. At Manson’s current juvenile state, he was more susceptible to them so he decided to avoid them.
B Cell - responsible for producing antibodies, specialized proteins that target specific antigens.
Helper T Cell - help activate B cells
Antibodies - also known as immunoglobulins, are proteins produced by B cells in response to specific antigens. They neutralize or mark pathogens for destruction by other components of the immune system.
Next, Manson came across a checkpoint guarded by cells known as memory cells known for their spectacular memory of past foreign invaders. Luckily, Manson was able to pass through the checkpoint as they had no memory of a creature such as him. While everything seemed to be going in Manson’s favor he pondered whether Maura and the rest of the parasites had made their way to the liver or not.
Memory Cells - long-lived immune cells formed after an initial exposure to a specific pathogen. They "remember" the pathogen and mount a quicker and more robust response upon subsequent encounters.
Meanwhile the rest of parasites that had invaded Timmy had made their way to the liver triggering an inflammatory response to occur within Timmy’s liver. Timmy’s immune system recognized this and began to act. The Cell-Mediated Response and Humoral Response were activated, with T Cells and B Cells working together to protect Timmy from the invaders. But try as they might, their efforts would be futile as the schistosomes were just too resilient.
Inflammation - Timmy's liver undergoes an inflammatory response as a reaction to the invasion of parasites. This involves the recruitment of immune cells to the site to eliminate the invaders and repair any damage caused.
Cell-Mediated Response - involves the activation of T cells, which directly attack infected cells
Humoral Immune Response - involves B cells producing antibodies to neutralize pathogens.
Manson finally made his way to the liver where he reunited with his lost love Maura and observed the inflammation reaking havoc on the liver. As Manson reached Maura, their union became a testament to their enduring love. They were able strong together as they reached adulthood developing a thick and sturdy skin to protect them from any defenses Timmy’s body threw at them. Manson and Maura could finally live peacefully and start a family.
And so, the love story of Maura and Manson became a tale of resilience, cooperation, and overcoming the challenges of the immune system.
As time passed, Maura and Manson's family grew larger. The pther Schistosomes that invaded along side Maura and Manson had started familys of their own. A whole Community had been born. Manson and Maura really were living happily ever after... until the lights unexpectantly went out.