Interaction of Bacteria with Phagocytic Cells

  • Itzhak Ofek
  • Ronald J. Doyle


Phagocytic cells, unlike other cells of soft and hard tissue, are preordained to engulf organisms. The interaction of bacteria with phagocytic cells may be either beneficial or harmful to the bacteria. In some cases, the bacteria survive in phagocytes, thereby escaping from environmental challenge, whereas in other cases the outcome is lethal. In order for the phagocyte to recognize and ingest a bacterium it must possess receptors complementary to the bacterial surface. Several bacterial species have been found to express adhesins for which receptors are accessible on the phagocytic membrane. Three major nonopsonic mechanisms of interaction of bacteria with phagocytic cells in a serum-free system have been described (Table 7–1). One of these, termed lectinophagocytosis, is based on recognition between surface lectins on one cell and carbohydrates on the opposing cell. The second mechanism involves protein-protein interactions via the Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) sequence. The final mechanism involves hydrophobic interactions between the two cell types.


Human Neutrophil Phagocytic Cell Bacterial Adhesion Neisseria Gonorrhoeae Blood Clearance 
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Copyright information

© Chapman & Hall, Inc. 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Itzhak Ofek
    • 1
  • Ronald J. Doyle
    • 2
  1. 1.Tel-AvivIsrael
  2. 2.LouisvilleUSA

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