Viruses and immune function

The Story Behind the Scenes

In the Viral Attack comic, the body's fight against invaders was a success, thanks to the important work of key immune cells. But what more do we know about how these cells work as they fight off an attack from harmful viruses? That's what the "behind the scenes" section is all about. 

As you click through the comic, the information buttons will take you directly to more in-depth information on the different cells you see. But you can also click on the links below to take you to a full page about each of these players in the story.

The Cells that are Part of the Immune System

Epithelial cell characters from the comicEpithelial cellsEpithelial cells are one of the body's first lines of defense against invaders. These cells make up your skin, including the inside of other areas, like your mouth. But sometimes viruses sneak past these barriers. 
macrophage cartoonMacrophagesMacrophages are one of the first cells to arrive at an infection. Infected or injured cells release chemicals to attract macrophages. These "big eaters" can clean up infected cells, bacteria, and viruses.
neutrophil comic book characterNeutrophilsNeutrophils are short-lived cells that arrive to the scene of the infection very early, alongside macrophages. They have many weapons to fight off invaders, but some of those also harm the body's other cells. Neutrophils also alert many other cells that more help is needed.
T cell comic book cartoon charactersT-cellsTwo types of T-cells are very important to fighting infection. Helper T-cells coordinate the attack on invaders, and Killer T-cells destroy infected cells, helping to stop the spread.
B cell comic characterB-cellsB-cells play a very important role in immune defense. When you fight a specific virus, they are responsible for making antibodies. That helps you fight off the viruses in a targeted way, finishing the fight.
Memory immune cell cartoonMemory cellsT and B-cells are also important as memory cells. Memory cells live on after the battle and help your body remember those specific invaders. That way, you can fight them off faster if they appear again.

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Bibliographic details:

  • Article: The Story Behind the Scenes
  • Author(s): Dr. Biology
  • Publisher: Arizona State University School of Life Sciences Ask A Biologist
  • Site name: ASU - Ask A Biologist
  • Date published: June 25, 2020
  • Date accessed: May 15, 2024
  • Link:

APA Style

Dr. Biology. (2020, June 25). The Story Behind the Scenes. ASU - Ask A Biologist. Retrieved May 15, 2024 from

American Psychological Association. For more info, see

Chicago Manual of Style

Dr. Biology. "The Story Behind the Scenes". ASU - Ask A Biologist. 25 June, 2020.

MLA 2017 Style

Dr. Biology. "The Story Behind the Scenes". ASU - Ask A Biologist. 25 Jun 2020. ASU - Ask A Biologist, Web. 15 May 2024.

Modern Language Association, 7th Ed. For more info, see
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