Anatomical barriers


Anatomical barriers include physical, chemical and biological barriers. The epithelial surfaces form a physical barrier that is impermeable to most infectious agents, acting as the first line of defense against invading organisms. Desquamation of skin epithelium also helps remove bacteria and other infectious agents that have adhered to the epithelial surfaces. Lack of blood vessels and inability of the epidermis to retain moisture, presence of sebaceous glands in the dermis provides an environment unsuitable for the survival of microbes. In the gastrointestinal and respiratory tract, movement due to peristalsis or cilia, respectively, helps remove infectious agents. Also, mucus traps infectious agents. The gut flora can prevent the colonization of pathogenic bacteria by secreting toxic substances or by competing with pathogenic bacteria for nutrients or attachment to cell surfaces. The flushing action of tears and saliva helps prevent infection of the eyes and mouth


Your immune system is comprised of two main halves: the innate immune system and the adaptive immune system. The former is the primary line of defense in your body's fight against pathogens, or invaders, that are always trying to harm it. This very first line of defense is made up of anatomical barriers, and their components, that try to stop an invader from getting into your body in the first place. 

  • Physical Barriers
  • Chemical Barriers
  • Biological Barriers
  • Role of glands in Innate Immunity

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