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Jan 31, 2019

Understanding white blood cells’ defense mechanisms could lead to better treatments

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Experiencing a bacterial infection? You’re generally prescribed antibiotics by your doctor. But how exactly do those antibiotics and your white blood cells work in tandem to improve your infection?

“The human body’s first line of defense against are certain white blood cells called neutrophils,” says J. Scott VanEpps, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of emergency medicine at Michigan Medicine. “One of their weapons are neutrophil extracellular traps, also called NETs.”

The traps are microscopic networks of fibers made primarily of DNA that are produced by the neutrophils to capture bacteria. But how exactly they work, VanEpps notes, is still unclear.

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