Phagocytosis and killing of bacteria in aerobic and anaerobic conditions

Journal of Medical Microbiology
H R InghamJ B Selkon


Phagocytosis and intracellular killing of several facultative anaerobes were observed in aerobic and anaerobic conditions. The presence of anaerobes affected these processes. Bacteroides asaccharolyticus and B. fragilis were killed by phagocytes only at bacterial concentrations less than 1 x 10(7) cfu/ml; at higher concentrations of the anaerobes, killing of B. fragilis and concomitant facultative anaerobes was inhibited. This effect appeared to be due to an interaction, in appropriate reducing conditions, between anaerobe and serum, which allowed engulfment of organisms by phagocytes but markedly impaired intracellular killing.


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