Host Defense Mechanisms

  • Lawrence R. Freedman
Part of the Current Topics in Infectious Disease book series (CTID)


Very little is known about the mechanisms of host defense in intravascular infections. Considerable emphasis is put on the ineffectiveness of conventional mechanisms: the lack of a lytic effect of antibody and complement on the gram-positive cocci responsible for the vast majority of infections and the inability of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN) to penetrate the fibrin barrier surrounding developing bacterial colonies. These two factors, in addition to the diminished metabolic activity of colonies located deep in the vegetations (with the consequence that they would be theoretically less susceptible to the action of antibiotics, such as penicillin), serve as the theoretical basis for the empirical clinical reality that it takes long-term treatment with bactericidal antibiotics to cure intravascular infections.


Aortic Valve Aortic Arch Host Defense Infective Endocarditis Prosthetic Heart Valve 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lawrence R. Freedman
    • 1
  1. 1.VA Wadsworth Medical CenterUCLA School of MedicineLos AngelesUSA

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