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Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2017, Article ID 9671604, 14 pages
Review Article

Neutrophils and Immunity: From Bactericidal Action to Being Conquered

1School of Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, Henan University, Kaifeng, Henan 475004, China
2Nanshi Hospital, Henan University College of Medicine, Nanyang, Henan 453003, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Xin-Ying Ji; nc.ude.uneh@ij_gniynix

Received 15 December 2016; Accepted 29 January 2017; Published 19 February 2017

Academic Editor: Clifford Lowell

Copyright © 2017 Tie-Shan Teng et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The neutrophil is the major phagocyte and the final effector cell of the innate immunity, with a primary role in the clearance of extracellular pathogens. Using the broad array of cytokines, extracellular traps, and effector molecules as the humoral arm, neutrophils play a crucial role in the host defense against pathogen infections. On the other hand, the pathogen has the capacity to overcome neutrophil-mediated host defense to establish infection causing human disease. Pathogens, such as S. aureus, have the potential to thwart neutrophil chemotaxis and phagocytosis and thereby succeed in evading killing by neutrophils. Furthermore, S. aureus surviving within neutrophils promotes neutrophil cytolysis, resulting in the release of host-derived molecules that promote local inflammation. Here, we provide a detailed overview of the mechanisms by which neutrophils kill the extracellular pathogens and how pathogens evade neutrophils degradation. This review will provide insights that might be useful for the development of novel therapies against infections caused by antibiotic resistant pathogens.