Crawling neutrophil chasing a bacterium

Neutrophils are a type of white blood cell. They defend your body against harmful bacteria, by actually ingesting the bacteria … apparently, after a bit of a chase.

Seen this? I never had before today. This video is taken from a 16-mm movie made in the 1950s by the late David Rogers at Vanderbilt University. Neutrophils are the most abundant type of white blood cells. They’re formed in your bone marrow. Their job is to fight infection in your body. There are several types of white blood cells, and, assuming you’re a healthy adult, you have between 4,500 and 11,000 white blood cells in every cubic millimeter of your blood. Neutrophils, in particular, have the job of defending the body against harmful bacteria. They kill bacteria by ingesting them and can ingest five to 20 bacteria in their lifetime … apparently, after a bit of a chase.

Bottom line: Video of something happening in your own body right now: crawling neutrophil, a type of white blood cell, chasing a bacterium. Isn’t it cool?

Deborah Byrd