See Your Immune System In Action!

click to enlarge

Nerd alert! I apologize for yet another fabulously awesome (to a dork) visual of the human body in action, or at least part of the human body in action.

Behold… The mighty neutrophil chasing a Staph aureus straight outta Dodge!

This video has been around for a while. Shout out to Orac @ Respectful Insolence for posting it this week despite its relative old age in our brave new world of instant internet access.  It’s short and sweet. Give it a click:

I’m gonna get you Sucka’!

Next time you read about some horrible staph infection, think about this happening in your body all the time, because it is. We’re covered from head to toe with Staph aureus and our immune system and the creepy little bug duke it out all day and all night. (Getting itchy?) We have evolved a complex system of protection, only part of which involves white blood cells such as the stalwart neutrophil in this movie. Fortunately, thanks to those white blood cells, other more helpful bacteria, sebum, complicated acid-base balance,  good sanitation, quality nutrition, good hygiene, and blah blah blah, the bacteria lose 99.9% of the time. Crazy little cooties keep coming back for more! Even when we give up some ground, most of the time we can beat the bugs back with antibiotics and the few other tricks we have up our Staph-covered sleeves.

Victoria Rentel, MD

Reference: Crawling Neutrophil Chasing a Bacterium, Thomas P. Stossel (Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School), June 22, 1999