Is it Beneficial to Augment or to Inhibit Neutrophil Function in Severe Infections and Sepsis?

  • W. Karzai
  • K. Reinhart
Conference paper
Part of the Yearbook of Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine book series (YEARBOOK, volume 1997)


The neutrophil plays a key role in host defense against microbial infections. Neutrophils move to sites of infection in response to chemotactic substances generated by infectious agents. At the site of infection, the neutrophils identify and engulf invading agents through specific cell surface receptors. A complex array of oxidative and non-oxidative mechanisms present in the neutrophil then kills invading microorganisms [1]. Reductions in neutrophil count or functions predispose the host to infections. For example, regular reductions in neutrophil numbers, which occurs in a rare human disease (cyclic neutropenia), predispose the inflicted individuals to recurring symptoms of infectious disease [2, 3]. Furthermore, in patients undergoing chemotherapy, incidence and prevalence of infections decrease with increasing numbers of neutrophils [4]. Functional abnormalities of neutrophils may also mean a predisposition to infections. Functional failure of neutrophils occurs in chronic granulomatous disease. Neutrophils of patients with this inherited disease lack the capacity to have a respiratory burst. Since the respiratory burst is essential in phagocytic killing of microorganisms, patients with this disease have recurrent bouts of serious infections despite normal neutrophil counts [1].


Bacterial Meningitis Respiratory Burst Chronic Granulomatous Disease Neutrophil Function Cyclic Neutropenia 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Karzai
  • K. Reinhart

There are no affiliations available

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