Mammalian antibodies

It seems that all acquired immunities, due to antibodies, are unstable. This protection mechanism, like vertical resistance in plants, appears to function primarily at the systems level of the population, and the possible loss of a few individuals, mainly in infancy, is of minor evolutionary significance.

The importance of this population protection was dramatically demonstrated when the Spaniards and their African slaves introduced many re-encounter human diseases to the New World. The Amerindians lacked antibodies to these diseases, having been free of them for many millennia. The effects were disastrous, with Amerindian mortalities that occasionally reached ninety percent. But the Europeans and Africans survived, and largely re-populated the depopulated areas. The extinction of indigenous populations occurred mainly among the people who had small populations because they lacked agriculture. The highly civilised agricultural people, such as the Aztecs, survived best because they had large populations resulting from an efficient agriculture based on maize, beans, and squash.

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