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What causes bacteria to be in your white blood cells?

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Quick Answer

Infections and immunologic diseases cause bacteria to be in white blood cells. Phagocytosis is the process by which certain white blood cells respond to these invaders by swallowing and destroying them, states MedlinePlus.

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The immune system is made up of the lymphoid tissue in the body including lymph nodes, bone marrow, tonsils, thymus, proteins and blood cells, reports MedlinePlus. Its primary function is to protect the body from harmful substances such as viruses, cancer cells, toxins, fungi, foreign substances and bacteria. When external substances invade the body, the immune system responds in two ways. It either produces antibodies that destroys invaders, or it undergoes the phagocytosis process where harmful substances are swallowed and destroyed. Protein in the immune system acts as complements to phagocytosis. White blood cells are the ones involved in the process.

There are two common types of white blood cells, notes the American Society of Hematology. The most common is the neutrophil. A neutrophil has an immediate response whenever the body is invaded. Neutrophils make up 55 percent of the total white blood cells count. A neutrophil has a short life span of less than 24 hours. The other common type of white blood cells is a lymphocyte. There are two types of lymphocytes, each with a particular function. The T lymphocytes regulate the function of other cells in the immune system, while the B lymphocytes make antibodies. Other types of white blood cells aid in the prevention of allergic reactions.

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