Posts Tagged ‘Immune system’

Chemotaxis for Phagocyte!

Chemotaxis

When the body is invaded by infectious organisms such as bacteria, viruses or parasites, it is vital that the body’s immune cells get to the sourse of infection as quickly as possible.

Infectious organisms (known as ‘pathogens‘) as well as damaged cells all release chemicals into the tissues around the infection or area of cell damage.  The immune system recognises the presence of these chemicals and sends its immune cells in the direction of the chemicals in order to fight the pathogens or remove the damaged cells.  This process is known as ‘Chemotaxis‘ and the first immune cells to arrive at the problem are the ‘Phagocytes‘.

Neutrophil engulfing anthrax bacteria, taken w...

Neutrophil (a type of phagocyte) engulfing anthrax bacteria. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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