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Article: Volume 44 Number 11 Page 1071 - December 2017

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  Dent Update 2017; 44: 1071-1075

Immunology:  The Immune System: Basis of so much Health and Disease: 8. Antigens and MHC

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Abstract: The immune system is the body’s primary defence mechanism against infections, and disturbances in the system can cause disease if the system fails in defence functions (in immunocompromised people), or if the activity is detrimental to the host (as in auto-immune and auto-inflammatory states). A healthy immune system is also essential to normal health of dental and oral tissues. This series presents the basics for the understanding of the immune system; this article covers antigens and the major histocompatibility complex.

Clinical relevance: Modern dental clinicians need a basic understanding of the immune system as it underlies health and disease.

Author notes: Crispian Scully, CBE, DSc, DChD, DMed (HC), Dhc(multi), MD, PhD, PhD (HC), FMedSci, MDS, MRCS, BSc, FDS RCS, FDS RCPS, FFD RCSI, FDS RCSEd, FRCPath, FHEA, Eleni A Georgakopoulou, PhD, MD, MSc, DDS, Research Fellow, University of Athens and Dental Practitioner, 4 Fokaias Str, 14232 N Ionia, Greece and Yazan Hassona, BDS, FFD RCSI, PhD, Assistant Professor and Consultant in Oral Medicine and Special Needs Dentistry, The University of Jordan, Amman.

Objective: To provide a basic understanding of the immune system as it underlies health and disease.