VIRUSES lesson 9: The Body Fights Back

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In this lesson we will take a very brief look at some of the strategies the immune system uses to fight viruses.  Most of the time the body wins the fight, even with viruses having so many ways to get around the cell’s biological weapons.

NOTE:  There is an optional intermission at the 32 minute mark (total running time is 59 minutes)


Download and print this template page before you begin watching the video:

Template page for Virology lesson 9

You might also want to print this info page.  It gives a written description of what we learn in this lesson.

Info page for Virology lesson 9

If you need to see the final drawing, here is the one I did on camera:

Final sample Virology lesson 9



If you enjoyed this lesson on the immune system, and you’d like to like know more, I have 9 lessons on the immune system in Module 3 of my “Mapping the Body with Art” curriculum.  You can download a page showing sample lessons by clicking here.

Here is a link to the curriculum in my store.  Module 3



Activity 9.1:  Another Jeopardy-style review game I made for you:




Here is a 5-minute overview of the immune system.  It focuses more on bacteria, so they show “neutrophils” instead of NK cells.  However, you will see many things we discussed during the drawing lesson.


Here is a combination of actual footage and computer generated animations showing macrophages at work.  The video shows macrophages attacking bacteria, but the principle is the same for viruses, especially if they are coated in antibodies.


Here is an animation about Natural Killer cells.  Though produced by a professional scientific animation company, this video contains a glaring error.  We see a bacteriophage virus attacking a body cell, which, as you know, is impossible, since bacteriophages attack only bacteria.  This a common error.  Bacteriophages look so interesting that people are tempted to use them any time they want to depict “a virus.”  (How do I know the bacteriophage is attacking a body cell?  Look at the MHC-1 flag right there in front of the phage, in the bottom right corner of the picture.)



Ready to take the quiz?   (15 questions, and you can reset and take it more than once)

If you can’t access the quiz online or you need a printed copy for some reason, here is a pdf copy.  (Please note that answer key is on the second page of the pdf.)

Copy of quiz for lesson 9


Back to: Intro to VIROLOGY