The human organism is protected against commensal and pathogenic microbes by antimicrobial molecules of the innate immune system. The human beta defensin 1 (hBD1) is one of the most prominent antimicrobial molecules and–in contrast to other defensins – constantly expressed by epithelial cells. A recent study displayed a new mechanism of hBD1: Besides bacterial cell envelope damage, it can form a so far unknown net-like structure. Bacteria can be entrapped in these nets providing a physical barrier which is independent of antimicrobial activity.
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