Once a white cell has left the blood vessel and migrated to the enemy, the next job is to EAT the microbe. This human macrophage, like its cousin the neutrophil, is a professional "phagocyte" or eating cell (phago = "eating", cyte = "cell"). The macrophage is using its internal cytoskeleton to envelop cells of the fungus Candida albicans. View this sequence in a 510K time-lapse movie.
But eating the organisms is not enough. To insure that the organisms not grow and divide within the macrophage, the white cell must kill the organisms by some means such as the OXIDATIVE BURST.
Phagocytosis clips in a larger, longer, silent format may be downloaded for classroom use as part of the "Immune System Collection" or as a single clip showing a neutrophil ingesting E. coli.
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