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12 June, 16:13

Shortly after engulfing bacteria, macrophages undergo a "respiratory burst" characterized by substantial ATP production in matter of milliseconds. This metabolic activity is so intense that macrophages usually die after engulfing 40-50 bacteria. The purpose of the respiratory burst is most likely:

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  1. 12 June, 16:48
    Answer: The purpose of the respiratory burst is most likely to provide energy for the rapid acidification of phagosomes via proton pumps


    Bacteria is known to be a single celled organism, without nucleus and organelles but cell wall, therefore, they should be usually exposed quickly to acidic conditions following phagocytosis. Failing to abide by that could simply lead to replication within the phagosome and hence cause lysis of the immune cells. Macrophages can get their phagosomes acidified to pH level of ~1.5.
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