NETosis in Neonates: Evidence of a Reactive Oxygen Species–Independent Pathway in Response to Fungal Challenge

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Release of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) is a significant antimicrobial host defense mechanism in adults. In neonates, fungal sepsis is a frequent cause of morbidity and mortality and may be a consequence of inadequate neutrophil defense functions. Like neutrophils from adult donors, we found that neutrophils from neonates formed robust cellular aggregates and released NETs in response to fungal β-glucan and Candida albicans hyphae when presented with extracellular matrix. Therefore, in response to fungal stimulation, neonatal neutrophils are capable of NETosis. Neonate susceptibility to fungal infections may not be due to an inability of their neutrophils to produce NETs.

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