what is neutrophil?
Behind every thriving organism, there’s a robust, functional immune system working tirelessly to protect it from a host of foreign invaders. A vital part of this formidable defense system in humans is neutrophils. This article aims to provide an understanding of neutrophils, their contribution to overall immunity, and the disorders associated with them.

Neutrophils are the most abundant type of white blood cell found in the human body, comprising roughly 50-70% of the entire white blood cell count. They are the immune system’s first line of defense, often referred to as the body’s ‘foot soldiers.’ Neutrophils provide a vital antimicrobial barrier, particularly against bacterial and fungal infections.

Understanding Neutrophils

Neutrophils are part of the larger family of cells collectively known as granulocytes, so named because of the granules present in their cytoplasm. These cells are born from hematopoietic stem cells in the bone marrow during a process known as granulopoiesis, which lasts about 14 days. They are short-lived cells, with a lifespan ranging from a few hours to a few days.

Role of Neutrophils in the Immune System

Neutrophils play a critical role in your body’s fight against infection. Being the first white blood cells to mobilize against bacterial or fungal infection, they quickly leave the bloodstream, moving towards the area of invasion where they engulf and neutralize pathogens – a process known as phagocytosis. Neutrophils also release a range of antimicrobial substances and reactive oxygen species that can kill invading pathogens.

Disorders Related to Neutrophils

Like any other bodily function, the production and operation of neutrophils can sometimes go askew. Two common conditions associated with abnormalities in neutrophil counts are Neutropenia and Neutrophilia. Neutropenia refers to a condition where the neutrophil count is abnormally low, making individuals more susceptible to infections. On the other hand, Neutrophilia is a condition where the neutrophil count is too high, often indicating an ongoing infection or inflammation elsewhere in the body.

Neutrophils and Disease Diagnosis

Many doctors rely on neutrophils as key indicators of inflammatory diseases as well as certain cancers. The neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) has been identified as a significant inflammatory marker in cancer diagnostics. An elevated NLR is often indicative of a poor prognosis in cancer patients.

Current Research and Future Prospects

Scientific research on the function and behavior of neutrophils is ongoing, given their importance to the immune system. Advancements continue in identifying potential therapies targeting neutrophils for various diseases, including inflammatory disorders and cancer.

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Neutrophils form a fundamental pillar to a functioning immune system, their role in combatting infections and diseases is critical. Continued research and understanding in this field are needed to leverage the power of these mighty defenders further.


  • What is the average count of Neutrophils in the human body?

The neutrophil count in the blood ranges typically between 1500 and 8000 cells per microliter.

  • How can I increase my neutrophil count naturally?

A healthy, balanced diet aids in the production of white blood cells, including neutrophils. Ensure your diet includes adequate protein, vitamins, and minerals.

  • What are the symptoms of having low Neutrophils?

A low neutrophil count, or neutropenia, can result in frequent infections, fever, and flu-like symptoms.

  • Can a regular blood test detect Neutrophil count?

Yes, a routine complete blood count (CBC) test can detect your neutrophil count.

  • What diseases are associated with a high Neutrophil count?

A high neutrophil count, or neutrophilia, can be caused by several conditions including infections, inflammation, cancer, stress, and certain medications.