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Antibody-pathogen pairs game

The 'Pairs' game being played

Activity: A card-matching game

Aim: To show that for every new pathogen the body meets, we have to make a specific antibody to match the pathogen in order to kill it. Vaccines enable us to gain a memory of the antibody needed to kill a particular pathogen.

How to make:

  • Print out and laminate your own matching ‘antibody’ and ‘pathogen’ shapes: creative design is up to you but just try and make sure they are visibly matching pairs. Alternatively you can use our example of anitbodies and pathogens. The card game is the same as a norma ‘pairs’ game.

What to do: The aim is to match the pairs (with our cards, antibodies- light blue to pathogen- dark blue): every correct pair, keep them facing up. Incorrect pairs, turn back over. As the game progresses, the participant will ‘learn’ which antibody will match which pathogen and become faster - just as the immune system learns which antibody to make for which germ, and becomes faster on second exposure – i.e. following vaccination. This is a timed competition with leader board.