DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Human neutrophil phagocytosis of the yeast Candida sp, coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM). Human neutrophil in the advance stages of phagocytosis of 3 Candida yeast cells. The neutrophil has almost completely engulfed the yeast to assimilate the cells for digestion. Neutrophils are granulocytic white blood cells (leukocytes) with granules in their cytoplasm that contain destructive chemicals. Neutrophils are involved in inflammation and other immune responses. They assist in cellular defence (phagocytosis) of pathogenic microorganisms. A neutrophil destroys an antigen (foreign debris) by engulfing it and injecting lethal chemicals. Macrophages will arrive later to consume any remaining debris. Candida species are part of the normal flora of mucous membranes of the mouth, gut and vagina. They are opportunistic fungi which may grow and become invasive if the host is immunologically compromised. Magnification: x2,665 when shortest axis printed.
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