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Endothelia

The epithelial cells lining the urogenital tract, blood vessels, lymphatic vessels, and certain other tissues are known as endothelia . These tightly packed cells provide a particularly effective frontline barrier against invaders. The endothelia of the blood-brain barrier , for example, protect the central nervous system (CNS), which consists of the brain and the spinal cord. The CNS is one of the most sensitive and important areas of the body, as microbial infection of the CNS can quickly lead to serious and often fatal inflammation. The cell junctions in the blood vessels traveling through the CNS are some of the tightest and toughest in the body, preventing any transient microbes in the bloodstream from entering the CNS. This keeps the cerebrospinal fluid that surrounds and bathes the brain and spinal cord sterile under normal conditions.

  • Describe how the mucociliary escalator functions.
  • Name two places you would find endothelia.

Mechanical defenses

In addition to physical barriers that keep microbes out, the body has a number of mechanical defenses that physically remove pathogens from the body, preventing them from taking up residence. We have already discussed several examples of mechanical defenses, including the shedding of skin cells, the expulsion of mucus via the mucociliary escalator, and the excretion of feces through intestinal peristalsis. Other important examples of mechanical defenses include the flushing action of urine and tears, which both serve to carry microbes away from the body. The flushing action of urine is largely responsible for the normally sterile environment of the urinary tract, which includes the kidneys, ureters, and urinary bladder. Urine passing out of the body washes out transient microorganisms, preventing them from taking up residence. The eyes also have physical barriers and mechanical mechanisms for preventing infections. The eyelashes and eyelids prevent dust and airborne microorganisms from reaching the surface of the eye. Any microbes or debris that make it past these physical barriers may be flushed out by the mechanical action of blinking, which bathes the eye in tears, washing debris away ( [link] ).

A diagram of a person. An arrow from the eye points to a larger image that shows eyelashes, the eyelid and tear ducts. An arrow from the abdominal region shows a larger kidney are ureter. An arrow from the groin region shows a larger urethra.
Tears flush microbes away from the surface of the eye. Urine washes microbes out of the urinary tract as it passes through; as a result, the urinary system is normally sterile.
  • Name two mechanical defenses that protect the eyes.

Microbiome

In various regions of the body, resident microbiota serve as an important first-line defense against invading pathogens. Through their occupation of cellular binding sites and competition for available nutrients, the resident microbiota prevent the critical early steps of pathogen attachment and proliferation required for the establishment of an infection. For example, in the vagina , members of the resident microbiota compete with opportunistic pathogens like the yeast Candida . This competition prevents infections by limiting the availability of nutrients, thus inhibiting the growth of Candida , keeping its population in check. Similar competitions occur between the microbiota and potential pathogens on the skin, in the upper respiratory tract, and in the gastrointestinal tract. As will be discussed later in this chapter, the resident microbiota also contribute to the chemical defenses of the innate nonspecific host defenses.

The importance of the normal microbiota in host defenses is highlighted by the increased susceptibility to infectious diseases when the microbiota is disrupted or eliminated. Treatment with antibiotics can significantly deplete the normal microbiota of the gastrointestinal tract, providing an advantage for pathogenic bacteria to colonize and cause diarrheal infection. In the case of diarrhea caused by Clostridium difficile , the infection can be severe and potentially lethal. One strategy for treating C. difficile infections is fecal transplantation , which involves the transfer of fecal material from a donor (screened for potential pathogens) into the intestines of the recipient patient as a method of restoring the normal microbiota and combating C. difficile infections.

[link] provides a summary of the physical defenses discussed in this section.

Physical Defenses of Nonspecific Innate Immunity
Defense Examples Function
Cellular barriers Skin, mucous membranes, endothelial cells Deny entry to pathogens
Mechanical defenses Shedding of skin cells, mucociliary sweeping, peristalsis, flushing action of urine and tears Remove pathogens from potential sites of infection
Microbiome Resident bacteria of the skin, upper respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract, and genitourinary tract Compete with pathogens for cellular binding sites and nutrients
  • List two ways resident microbiota defend against pathogens.

Key concepts and summary

  • Nonspecific innate immunity provides a first line of defense against infection by nonspecifically blocking entry of microbes and targeting them for destruction or removal from the body.
  • The physical defenses of innate immunity include physical barriers, mechanical actions that remove microbes and debris, and the microbiome, which competes with and inhibits the growth of pathogens.
  • The skin, mucous membranes, and endothelia throughout the body serve as physical barriers that prevent microbes from reaching potential sites of infection. Tight cell junctions in these tissues prevent microbes from passing through.
  • Microbes trapped in dead skin cells or mucus are removed from the body by mechanical actions such as shedding of skin cells, mucociliary sweeping, coughing, peristalsis , and flushing of bodily fluids (e.g., urination, tears)
  • The resident microbiota provide a physical defense by occupying available cellular binding sites and competing with pathogens for available nutrients.

Fill in the blank

The muscular contraction of the intestines that results in movement of material through the digestive tract is called ________.

peristalsis

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______ are the hair-like appendages of cells lining parts of the respiratory tract that sweep debris away from the lungs.

cilia

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Secretions that bathe and moisten the interior of the intestines are produced by _______ cells.

goblet

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Short answer

Differentiate a physical barrier from a mechanical removal mechanism and give an example of each.

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Identify some ways that pathogens can breach the physical barriers of the innate immune system.

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Questions & Answers

is it better to study microbiology and then medicine it makes no difference to go directly to medicine?
Jessee Reply
Dray's mathdme cell wall konse color k hote he
Jinal Reply
what is dray's mathdme cell wall
Prabhat
I confused. please help me
Karen
just confused
Raj
l don't understand it please explain it for me.
Karen Reply
epitopes are present on the surface of
Rohit Reply
at the tip of variable region on the antibody...where antigen and antibody binding sites combine...
Fiza
The term that is used refer to moving microbes under a microscope are referred to as?
Lee Reply
Members of the genus Neisseria cause which of the folowing human diseases?
Farah Reply
genital infections
Kamaluddeen
gonorrhoea
sandip
gonorrhoea
Jessee
4. Which of the following specimens should not be refrigerated? a. Urine b. Urogenital swab
Zahraa Reply
urine
Muuse
urine
Agatha
Urine
Tean
urine
Yasser
Urine
Ebtehal
urine
anamika
urine
Puja
urine
Inemesit
urine
Samuel
Urine
Muhammad
Details about McConkey agar
Muhammad
urine
SK
urine
what is bacteria
anamika Reply
a member of large number of unicellular microorganism which have cell wall but lack of cell organelles an oranised nucleus including somewhat can cause disease
Sukhdeep
Bacteria are usually composed of one cell onl to that are neither plants nor animals, microscopic, that may cause diseases or may be beneficial(in gut)... it depends upon their weapons. Nearly all animal life is dependent on Bacteria for their survival
Fiza
thanks
anamika
what factor make bacteria colony large and how could we sterlise it in large scale
fatty
nutrient concentration temp gaseous conc ph ion or salt concentration mositure condition factors contribute to make large colony. by autoclaving we will sterilize bactetia
Sukhdeep
Colony is actually visible growth of Bacteria that is as a result of suitable environment for growth i.e optimal conditions for growth, temperature, moisture etc. there're many methods to get rid of bacteria. If We stop giving them optimal conditions for living Bacteria will die soon .
Fiza
what's the difference between an antigen and a pathogen?
Pathogens are organisms that cause disease in other organisms whereas Antigen is a part of a pathogen that triggers the immune response..
Rajat
so it is the antigen that dendritic cells present to the T cells and not the pathogen itself?
no no antigen are the west product or part of the pathogen. in such case bacteria it self fight with over immune response & in another case bacteria release antigens
vasava
& other antigen like pollan grain, dust particles etc.....
vasava
pathogen are microbes that can infect the body and causw illness....antigens are the part of pathogens that alert the body to an infection
Sukhdeep
antigen is a part of blood and pathogen is foreign particle which causes diseases
Yogyata
antigen could be non microorganism.... where as pathogen is mixroorganism
tadesse
Thanks
Karen
a pathogen is a disease causing organism while an antigen is a protein in the white blood cells which combats pathogens.
Jessee
what type of widal test
sobhit Reply
this test determine for typhoid in this test if H,O antigen are present that indicate the positive test bac. are salmonella typhy
vasava
what h.o denotes
Iqra
o: body of bacteria, h: flagellate
Explain Mould
Chinenye Reply
Explain mycoses and it's classification
Chinenye
why do we have hiccups?
Manisha Reply
shakey diaphragm
Curlisse
The antibody binding site is formed primarily by:
Asalla Reply
How many types of MICROORGANISMS do we have?
Hope Reply
Hello friends
Hope
microorganisms are divided into seven type Bacteria archaea protozoa algae fungi virus and multicellular animal parasites
Raj
What's pathogenesity
Usman Reply
something that causes disease
Anietie
who is the father of microbiology?
Hope
antonie van leeuwenhoek
vasava
it is the severity of the effects caused by a pathogen
Jessee
Practice MCQ 3

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Source:  OpenStax, Microbiology. OpenStax CNX. Nov 01, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col12087/1.4
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