Neutrophils: New insights and open questions

Sci Immunol. 2018 Dec 7;3(30):eaat4579. doi: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aat4579. Epub 2018 Dec 7.


Neutrophils are the first line of defense against bacteria and fungi and help combat parasites and viruses. They are necessary for mammalian life, and their failure to recover after myeloablation is fatal. Neutrophils are short-lived, effective killing machines. Their life span is significantly extended under infectious and inflammatory conditions. Neutrophils take their cues directly from the infectious organism, from tissue macrophages and other elements of the immune system. Here, we review how neutrophils traffic to sites of infection or tissue injury, how they trap and kill bacteria, how they shape innate and adaptive immune responses, and the pathophysiology of monogenic neutrophil disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacteria / immunology
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Neutrophils / immunology*