from The Century Dictionary.
- noun Same as
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Variations in chemiotaxis towards different organisms probably depend in natural conditions, as well as in active immunity, upon the opsonic content of the serum.
As regards the former, leucocytes are guided chiefly by chemiotaxis, _i. e._ by sensitiveness to chemical substances in their surroundings -- a property which is not peculiar to them but is possessed by various unicellular organisms, including motile bacteria.
Then as regards natural powers of destroying bacteria, phagocytosis aided by chemiotaxis plays a part, and it can be understood that an animal whose phagocytes are attracted by a particular bacterium will have an advantage over one in which this action is absent.
When the cell moves from a less to a greater degree of concentration, _i. e._ towards the focus of production, the chemiotaxis is termed positive; when the converse obtains, negative.
Alcohol thus prevents the cells from attacking invading bodies or of reacting in the presence of the toxins which also, as is well known, exert a more or less marked negative chemiotaxis, i.e., the cells appear to be paralyzed.
"We have already mentioned that Massart and Bordet some years ago pointed out that alcohol, even in very dilute solutions, exerts a very active negative chemiotaxis, i. e., it appears to have properties by which leucocytes are repelled or driven away from its neighborhood and actions.
"Now, it is a peculiar fact, as shown by Massart, Bordet and others, in researches on chemiotaxis, that nearly all these poisons have the power of repelling leucocytes, and of seriously interfering with them in the performance of their functions, and this power assumes a special significance in connection with our subject this afternoon.