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RAMON ANDRADE 3DCIENCIA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY RAMON ANDRADE 3DCIENCIA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Antibodies neutralizing flu virus. Illustration of human antibodies (immunoglobulin, Ig) responding to a flu virus. Each Y-shaped molecule (three shown) has two arms that can bind to specific antigens, for instance bacterial or viral proteins. In doing this they mark the antigen for destruction by phagocytes, white blood cells that ingest and destroy foreign bodies. Antibodies can also kill some pathogens directly, and can neutralise toxins. This image represents immunoglobulin antibodies neutralizing the 1918 form of the H1N1 flu virus, by binding to hemagglutinin (orange, lower left) on the surface of the flu virus.
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