<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

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

Got questions? Get instant answers now!

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

cilia

Got questions? Get instant answers now!

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

goblet

Got questions? Get instant answers now!

Short answer

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

Got questions? Get instant answers now!

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

Got questions? Get instant answers now!

Questions & Answers

deffination of staining
Bhavanimangali Reply
with the aid of a well labeled diagram describe the conducting system
Maridad Reply
what is cellular immunity
namugenyi Reply
Cellular Immunity. -Lymphocytes act against target cell. -Acts directly by killing infected cells.
abdinor
What are NK cells
Peter
Natural killer cells
Rahaba
what are Antigen determinant
mary
cellular immunity is the state where the lymphocytes destroy the infected or targeted cell
cynthia
any examples of oedema
cynthia
introduction of microbial diversity-1
Bhavanimangali Reply
List the type of micro organism arround us and how they can be seen and with what kind of instrument
clinton Reply
how is the arrangements of bacteria in bacilli
Vaidah Reply
Provide some examples of bacterial structures that might be used as antibiotic targets and explain why.
Vaidah
Coccobacilli, Club-Shaped bacilli, Bacilli with rounded ends, Fuilform bacilli, Bacilli with ends square.
Enoch
three main antibiotic targets in bacteria: The cell wall or membranes that surrounds the bacterial cell. The machineries that make the nucleic acids DNA and RNA. The machinery that produce proteins
Rushikesh
The bacterial cell wall. Protein production. and DNA synthesis. Why, this is because most drugs (antibiotics) affects the cell wall of the bacteria, which makes the bacteria weak or susceptible in human body.
Enoch
UV rays affecting the..
Mali Reply
what is microbiology
Baba Reply
Microbiology is the study of microorganisms, which are prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell which includes bacteria, fungi, viruses and pathogenic protozoa.
Enoch
Microbiology is the branch of Life science which deals with scientific study of many Microorganisms.
Rushikesh
what is types of microbiology
Alsheikh
Immunology, Bacteriology, Virology, Mycology, Algology etc
Enoch
Virology, Immunology, Bacteriology, Algology, Mycology, Protoozology etc
Enoch
and what is mycology
Alsheikh
Immunology, Serology, Virology, Microbial Genetics, Parasitology, Bacteriology, Mycology, Molecular, Cell Biology, Agricultural, Water,Soil, Food Industrial ,Pharmaceutical, Applied, Environmental, Clinical, Medical,Marine Microbiology, Microbial Systematics, Etc, are & many types of Microbiology.
Rushikesh
study of fungi is called mycology
Munna
Mycology is the branch of Microbiology which deals with scientific study of Fungi.
Rushikesh
Study of microorganisms,which we can't see with our naked eye is called microbiology
Munna
Mycology is the scientific study of Fungi.
Enoch
virology is the study of viruses
Oppah
what is microbiology? microbiology is the study of small microorganisms that we can not with our naked eyes.
Leticia
what is taxonomical classification of microbiology
Bami
The algae, protozoa, slime moulds, fungi, bacteria, archaea and viruses ,are taxonomic classification of Microorganisms
Rushikesh
We have Bacteria, Archaea, Protozoa, Algae, Fungi, Viruses.
Enoch
microbiology is the study of microbes too small to be seen by naked eyes
Maridad
microbiology is a branch of biology which deals with study of smallest living microrganisms such as bacteria protozoa fungi and viruses
Chaitra
microbiology is the study of microorganisms which can't be seen by our naked eyes
Nakaweesi
Micro - Minute Bio - Life Logus - Study
Roshan
what is the meaning of antimicrobial susceptibility testing
Devshree Reply
seven gram positive bacteria
Okocha Reply
seven examples of gram negative bacteria
Okocha
seven examples of gram negative bacteria
Okocha
Physical conditions that would enable selective Isolation of staphylococcus epidermis
shongile Reply
Nutritional requirements that would enable selective Isolation of staphylococcus epidermis
shongile
Nutritional requirements that would enable selective Isolation of staphylococcus epidermis
shongile
what is constant flux but
Jane Reply
Digestion of food is completed in __
Amina Reply
Small Intestine
Enoch
large inteatine
Abdiwali
small intestine
Betelhem
Small intestine
Abdirisaq
small intestine
Marah
small intestine specific in illum
Mariam
difference btwn hausteria and appears
Raviha Reply
numerical and molecular taxanomy
Dhanshri Reply
difference btwn hausteria and appesorium
Raviha
Practice MCQ 3

Get Jobilize Job Search Mobile App in your pocket Now!

Get it on Google Play Download on the App Store Now




Source:  OpenStax, Microbiology. OpenStax CNX. Nov 01, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col12087/1.4
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Microbiology' conversation and receive update notifications?

Ask