Principles and Methods for Assessing Allergic Hypersensitization Associated with Exposure to Chemicals - Environmental Health Criteria 212

United Nations Environment Programme ; World Health Organization ; International Labour Organisation ; Inter-Organization Programme for the Sound Management of Chemicals (IOMC) (1999)

The role of the immune system may be succinctly stated as the "preservation of integrity". This system is responsible for identifying what is "self" and what is "non-self". The great complexity of the mammalian system is an indication of the importance, as well as the difficulty, of this task. If the system fails to recognize as non-self an infectious entity or the neoantigens expressed by a newly arisen tumour, then the host is in danger of rapidly succumbing to the unopposed invasion.

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