Neutrophils are not simply scavenging phagocytes that clear extracellular spaces of rapidly proliferating microbes; they are also active in the control of infections by intracellular pathogens. Several mechanisms for nonphagocytic roles of neutrophils in protective immunity have been put forth over the years but further evidence has recently been accumulating at an increasing pace. In this review, I present the evidence that suggests neutrophils are involved in pathogen shuttling into the lymphoid tissues, in antigen presentation, and in early T cell recruitment and initiation of granuloma organization. Also, a clearer view on the antimicrobial molecules that can be acquired by macrophages to enhance their antimicrobial activity is now emerging. Finally, neutrophils can adversely affect immunity against certain parasites by causing immune deviation.
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