Neutrophils – Functions, Structures, Symptoms, And Conditions Of Neutrophils

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What are neutrophils?

Neutrophils is a type of white blood cells which serves as the first line of defence for the immune system. White blood cells come in three different varieties: granulocytes, lymphocytes and monocytes. It is also a subtype of granulocytes that also includes eosinophils and basophils. White blood cells work together to defend the body against illness and damage.

Neutrophils aid in the prevention of infections. They continually look for indicators of illness and act rapidly to eliminate infections.

Neutrophils are crucial for controlling your body’s immunological response and inflammation. They also interact with other cells through communication to aid in cell repair and immune response.

Neutrophils are formed in the bone marrow, and they make up between 50 and 70 per cent of all white blood cells in the blood. An adult’s bloodstream typically contains between 4,500 and 11,000 white blood cells per millimetre cubed (mm3).

Functions of neutrophils

Your immune system guards against the entry of bacteria and viruses into your body.

Your immune system sends its strong mature cells (neutrophils, eosinophils,and basophils) to move through the circulation system and tissues to fight against factors that cause illness, infection and disease.

Neutrophils is the first to fight against infection especially when the immune system is under attack. Neutrophils captures and kills invasive bacteria or germs.

Neutrophils also aid in the process of tissue repair especially when the cells are injured.

Location of neutrophils

Neutrophils are located in the bone marrow and move through the body’s blood, tissues and lymph nodes.

What should be the normal range of neutrophils?

An absolute neutrophil count can determine the quantity of neutrophils in a sample of your blood. In a healthy adult, there should be between 2,500 and 7,000 neutrophils per microliter of blood. You risk having a neutrophil disorder if your number is 7,000 or less than 2,500.

Structure of neutrophils

Neutrophils develop in the soft tissue of the bones (bone marrow), move through your circulatory system in your blood and stay in the tissues. Neutrophils have a distinct appearance. At rest, neutrophils are spherical, but when fighting an infection, they take on a different structure.

One variety of white blood cells is the neutrophil. 1% of your body’s cells are white blood cells. The most prevalent type of white blood cells in your body, between 50% and 80%, are neutrophils.

Conditions of neutrophils

Neutrophils are classified into two types, namely, Neutrophilia and Neutropenia.

High neutrophils count (Neutrophilia)

Neutrophilia is the term used to describe for having a high level of neutrophils in the blood. This is a symptom that you have an infection in your body. This can occur due to the following conditions.

Some of the symptoms are listed below.

  • Irritation without infection
  • Injury
  • Surgery
  • Smoking cigarettes

Low neutrophils count (Neutropenia)

Low neutrophil counts are referred to as Neutropenia. Low neutrophil counts are most frequently linked to drugs, although they can also indicate other conditions or illnesses, such as:

  • High amount of stress
  • Over exercise
  • Steroids
  • Cardiac arrests
  • Persistent myeloid leukaemia

If your neutrophil count falls below 1,500 neutrophils per microliter, you are most susceptible to Neutropenia. Life-threatening infections can result from extremely low neutrophil levels.

Symptoms of abnormal neutrophil count

The following are signs of an abnormal neutrophil count:

Diagnosis for abnormal neutrophil count

Following are the ways to diagnose abnormal neutrophil count.

Complete blood count

A complete blood count test helps to detect the number of cells in the body. A CBC helps with medical condition diagnosis and can be used to assess your general health.

Absolute neutrophil count

An Absolute Neutrophil Count (ANC) counts the neutrophil cells in a sample of the blood.

Bone marrow biopsy

A bone marrow biopsy confirms the number of cells in the body and reveals the growth location. Your doctor takes a tiny sample of your bone marrow and tests it. A biopsy ascertains whether the body is creating a healthy number of cells or whether certain disorders are present. Cell production starts in the bone marrow.

Treatment for low or high neutrophil count

The following are typical treatments for both low and high neutrophil counts:

  • Use of antibiotics
  • Bone marrow transplantation
  • Stopping neutropenia-causing drugs
  • Use of corticosteroids in autoimmune disease
  • Addressing health issues that impact your neutrophil count
  • Receiving a transfusion of white blood cells

Risk factors

If you know that your neutrophil count is low, you can avoid being infected by adhering to the following conditions.

  • Use a hand sanitiser with an alcohol basis or wash your hands often with soap and water.
  • Keep all vaccinations, especially those for COVID-19 and the flu.
  • Avoid being around ill people and crowds where you might come into contact with them.
  • Avoid getting scratches, tears or cuts (including tattoos and piercings) and if you do, treat wounds right away.
  • Cooking it to the right temperature will help stop the transmission of germs, as will keeping meats away from other foods and cooking them in a clean kitchen.
  • Don’t let anyone else use your plates, cups, food or beverages.
  • Don’t share toothbrushes, razors or towels with others.


Neutrophilia is a condition where your body overproduces neutrophils, a type of white blood cell that fights infections. Your healthcare practitioner may order additional testing if blood tests reveal that your neutrophil count is more significant than it should be in order to determine the cause and treat the underlying condition.


How to increase low neutrophil count?

1. Changing the chemotherapy’s dosage or timing
2. Receiving a transfusion of white blood cells
3. Stopping the use of any drug that lowers white blood cell counts
4. Taking antibiotics that increase the production of white blood cells

What are the causes of low or high neutrophil count?

Your neutrophil levels may indicate an infection or stress if they are high, and it can also be a sign of something severe. Low neutrophil counts, or Neutropenia, can be chronic or last for a few weeks.

What happens if the neutrophil count is too low?

When a neutrophil level is low, the body struggles to fight infections and germs. Even germs that a healthy body typically tolerates might do you harm in extreme situations.

What does a high neutrophil count indicate?

A bacterial infection is frequently the cause of an excessively high neutrophil count, also referred to as neutrophilic leukocytosis. Immature neutrophils leave your bone marrow too quickly and enter your bloodstream to fight the infection.


The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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