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What is a hypersensitivity reaction?
Hypersensitivity reactions are when the body’s immune system responds to something in an exaggerated or inappropriate way. As a result of this response, the body will come to harm. Hypersensitivity reactions include both allergic responses (attacks on non-self antigens) and autoimmune responses (attacks on self-antigens that are no longer recognised as self).
Typically, these reactions occur on the second exposure to an antigen once the body has already been primed to it.
Types of hypersensitivity reactions
There are four types of hypersensitivity reactions. Types I-III are all mediated by antibodies, whereas Type IV is cell-mediated:
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