The two compartments of adaptive immunity (i.e., the T- and B-cell compartments) are also responsible for long-term memory to influenza. However, these cells evolved for different purposes, with B cells evolving to neutralize extracellular virions and cytotoxic T cells evolving to eradicate virally infected cells. For example, circulating antibody is able to neutralize influenza before it infects and spreads between host cells. If the infection progresses, memory cytotoxic T cells are needed to successfully eradicate the virus, with helper T-cells facilitating both antibody secretion and T-cell cytotoxicity.
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