There are many ways that your body protects itself from bacteria. First and foremost is your skin. Think of it a protective barrier between your vital organs and blood and the bacteria that you are exposed to everyday. If bacteria penetrates the skin, your body will respond by directing your immune system to focus on that exact spot. Inflammation will occur as phagocytes (white blood cells) gang up on the bacteria consuming it as well as the damaged cells.
In your mouth and nose, mucous membranes covered with saliva attract the bacteria and lysozyme is the enzyme that helps break down bacteria in saliva. The little hairs in your nose, vibrissae, trap bacteria, as well.
Your digestive tract helps rid of bacteria as well. Your stomach contains a very low pH, which many bacteria cannot survive. The lymphatic tissue in the intestines help filter out toxins as well. If all else fails, diarrhea and vomiting!!
Your primary defense against bacteria is your skin and mucous membranes inside your mouth and nose, which act as barriers between your organs and everyday pathogens. Should bacteria get inside your body, your white blood cells will travel to the infected site and literally “eat” the offending microbes by engulfing the smaller bacterial cells. When you see pus at a wound site, the white goop is actually a collection of old white blood cells that have finished fighting off bacteria. So, even though it’s a little gross, take comfort in the fact that the presence of pus means your body is reacting properly to an infection.
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