oxygen dependent killingmedical dictionary

One of the most important bactericidal mechanisms of mammalian phagocytes involves the production of various toxic oxygen species (hydrogen peroxide, superoxide, singlet oxygen, hydroxyl radicals) through the metabolic burst. Although anaerobic killing is possible, the oxygen dependent mechanism is crucial for normal resistance to infection and a defect in this system is usually fatal within the first decade of life (chronic granulomatous disease).

See: myeloperoxidase, chemiluminescence.

This entry appears with permission from the Dictionary of Cell and Molecular Biology

(11 Mar 2008)