The immune system is made up of organs and cells that work together to protect the body from infection and disease. The immune system uses white blood cells to fight infections. The white blood cells mark and attack cells that they do not recognize as belonging in the body.
There are several types of white blood cells, each with its own role. In boys with Wiskott Aldrich syndrome – WAS, there are too few of two types of white blood cells called lymphocytes. The types of lymphocytes affected are:
B cells — B cells make antibodies. Antibodies attach to foreign cells and mark them to be attacked.
T cells — T cells direct B cells to make antibodies against foreign cells. T cells direct the rest of the immune system when to attack or stop attacking foreign cells. They also help in the attack.