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Immunology. 2000 Aug;100(4):411-6.

Review article: ageing and the neutrophil: no appetite for killing?

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MRC Centre for Immune Regulation, Division of Immunity and Infection, Birmingham University Medical School, Birmingham, UK.


In the armoury of the immune system developed to combat the various micro-organisms that could invade the host, the neutrophil forms the first line of defence against rapidly dividing bacteria and fungi. However, as humans age they become more susceptible to infection with these microbes and this has been ascribed to a decline in immune status, termed immune senescence. Here we summarize the literature specifically concerning the attenuation of neutrophil function with age and the possible mechanisms underlying their reduced response to infectious agents.

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