Allergy

The term allergy, often used interchangeably with hypersensitivity, refers to particular types of abnormal immune responses to antigens, which are called allergens in these cases. There are two major forms of allergy: (1) immediate hypersensitivity, which is due to an abnormal B lymphocyte response to an allergen that produces symptoms within seconds or minutes, and (2) delayed hy-persensitivity, which is an abnormal T cell response that produces symptoms between 24 and 72 hours after exposure to an allergen. These two types of hypersensitivity are compared in table 15.11.

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