I've been reading that Macrophages, members of the innate immune system, can actively track bacteria and protozoa to devour and destroy them. In the same way, can macrophages devour free viruses, in blood for example, 'actively'? I can understand that random phagosomal uptake might contain virus particles, but by 'active' uptake, I mean the process by which it tracks bacteria to engulf them.

I guess not, but I need an answer. Would be grateful if a source, like a textbook, is provided as well!

Thanks in advance.

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to the site. Please take a tour and visit the help center for more information on this site and what we do here. In particular note that there is a homework policy that requires an attempt from the OP to answer the question for themselves. On that note - what do you know about the immune system and how it works to label foreign bodies? $\endgroup$
    – bob1
    Commented Jan 25, 2023 at 20:08
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ If the viruses have been opsonized, macrophages will phagocytose them. I suspect that direct phagocytosis of non-opsonized viruses would depend on the type of virus and the surface molecules it expresses. $\endgroup$
    – MattDMo
    Commented Jan 26, 2023 at 15:34
  • $\begingroup$ @MattDMo thanks for the response! Any example of viruses macrophages phagocytosing non-opsonized viruses? $\endgroup$
    – Vembha
    Commented Jan 27, 2023 at 9:17


You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .