Phagocytes are cells that special in engulfing and destroying foreign particles, capable of rendering protection against bacteria and other foreign particles in the body.
The prompt and efficient clearance of apoptotic cells by phagocytosis is essential to maintain tissue homeostasis and prevent secondary necrosis. Otherwise, the release of intracellular contents from necrotic cells might trigger inflammation and autoimmune diseases. Phagocytosis can also be an integral part of physiological processes.
Over the last 50 years, many genetic and molecular disorders of phagocytes have been identified, leading to improved diagnosis and treatment of conditions which predispose patients to the risk of recurrent fevers and infectious diseases.