Are Sharks Immune To All Diseases?

Sharks are known for being fierce predators in the ocean, but they have more to offer than just sharp teeth and scary looks. Researchers have found that sharks have a unique immune system that helps them fight off many diseases. Sharks have been around for over 400 million years, making them one of the oldest creatures on the planet. They’ve developed a special immune system that sets them apart from other animals.

Antibodies and Their Importance in Shark Immunity

One reason sharks have such a strong immune system is that they can produce many different antibodies. Antibodies are proteins that help the body fight off foreign substances like viruses and bacteria. Sharks have a wider range of antibodies than other animals, so they can attack more types of germs.


Sharks also have a special type of white blood cell called granulocytes. These cells can surround and destroy invaders like bacteria and viruses. What makes sharks different is that they have two types of granulocytes, each designed to fight different types of germs.

The Complement System in Sharks

Sharks also have a group of proteins called the complement system that helps fight infections. Their complement system is very good at quickly destroying germs that enter the body.

Although sharks are resistant to many diseases, they can still get some kinds of cancer and parasites. However, they are still more resistant to these diseases than other animals.

Potential Applications of Shark Immune System Research for Human Health

Scientists are still studying the shark immune system to learn more about it. They hope to use what they learn to develop new treatments for human diseases like cancer and HIV. They’re also exploring how the shark immune system could help make better vaccines.


Overall, sharks have a unique and effective immune system that helps them resist many diseases. By studying sharks, scientists hope to find new ways to treat and prevent human diseases in the future.