NATIONAL INSTITUE OF ALLERGIES & INFECTIOUS DISEASES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NATIONAL INSTITUE OF ALLERGIES & INFECTIOUS DISEASES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Light micrograph of a field of blood cells showing phagocytosis of the yeast Candida albicans by a human leucocyte (white blood cell). C.albicans causes the infection known as candidiasis, which affects the moist, mucous membranes of the body. It is known as thrush when it occurs in the vagina or mouth. The small orange ovals surrounding the white cell are erythrocytes, or red blood cells. One spore of C. albicans has already been phagocytosed and is within the white blood cell, while the second sits at the cell membrane. Phagocytosis is a process of the immune system whereby foreign particles such as bacteria and fungi are engulfed and digested.
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