MadSci Network: Immunology

Re: What causes the body to make pus? What is it made of?

Date: Mon Sep 20 10:16:28 1999
Posted By: Richard Deem, Staff, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Area of science: Immunology
ID: 937484321.Im

Pus is the result of the body's reaction to infection (usually by 
bacteria). When bacteria gain access to living cells (often through a 
puncture wound) white blood cells (mostly macrophages, monocytes, and 
neutrophils) react to eliminate the invader by engulfing them. These white 
blood cells produce special chemicals called chemoattractants that signal 
other white blood cells to migrate into the infected area (called 
chemotaxis). The area eventually becomes filled with white blood cells, 
producing the white color and the swelling that often characterize an 

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