Leukocytes, also called white blood cells are the major component of the immune system. They fight all disease-causing agents in the body and also protect us from any kind of foreign materials that are likely to pose threats to our system. Some do so by producing antibodies to destroy infectious agents while others attack the bacteria directly. Some just notify your immune system when there are invaders in the body. It is common to have white blood cells as well as protein occurring in urine when a woman is pregnant. Therefore, you may find that there is increased number of leukocytes and proteins entering the urine from the vagina. However, higher levels may indicate an infection of the bladder or the genitourinary system.
Types of Leukocytes
There are five main types of white blood cells as discussed below.
These are the largest type of leukocytes present in the blood with a range of between 2000 to about 7500 cells per microlitres. They are medium sized and are composed of irregular nuclei and numerous granules that carry out diverse functions in the cells. Neutrophils perform their function by attaching themselves to the lining of blood vessels hence blocking the germs that could be trying to enter your blood system through the infectious regions or cuts. They are usually the first white blood cells to respond in case an infectious agent invades the body. They destroy pathogens through a process called phagocytosis, which means cell eating. They also produce sulfur oxides, which kill the pathogens.
These are small and round in shape with a big nucleus placed at the center of the cell. They play a vital role in one’s immune system. Lymphocytes reside in lymphatic tissues, lymph nodes, spleen and also in tonsils. The total amount of lymphocytes in the blood is about 1300 to 1400 cells per microlitres.
Lymphocyte B makes the antibodies, which are an essential component for resistance to diseases. They identify the pathogens that should be attacked by various antibodies. Lymphocyte B cells also help the immune system identify those infections that the body has encountered before. Another type of these cells is lymphocytes T, which is crucial in mediated cell immunity.
These cells comprise the greatest percentage of leukocytes. Their abundance in the blood ranges from two hundred to eight hundred per microlitres. Their cytoplasm has a little amount of granules, which are microscopic. When monocytes get in the blood, they become macrophages. They are large in size, which enables them to act on big foreign materials present in wounds and other infected areas.
The number of eosinophils present in the blood ranges from 40 to 400 cells. They are very few compared to other types of white blood cells. Eosinophils consist of granules that are large sized, and which play a vital role in cellular activities.
Eosinophils are crucial cells that are involved in worm infestations and allergies. They function by producing toxins in the granules, which kill pathogens. The main types of pathogens they act on are worms and parasites. High levels of eosinophils cause allergies and could get worse if no medical attention is given.
These are the least type of leukocytes in the blood stream with a population of about 0 to 100 basophils cells per microlitres. They have granules that are large in size though their function is not clear. Basophils have a nice color when stained, which makes their identification easy. They produce antibodies and anticoagulants, which ease hypersensitivity reactions.
As a vital component of the immune system, they attack all foreign invaders that pose a threat to the body. They contain histamine that enables the cells near the injured region to dilate in order for more immune cells to accumulate and fight the infection.
Leukocytes in Urine
In normal circumstances, the urine should not contain white blood cells as the kidney prevents the blood cells from passing into the urine. Also, our blood does not have any contact with urine. However, body disorders can make blood cells appear in the urine. Kidney or bladder inflammation, allergies, kidney stones and growths on the genitourinary tract can make white blood cells appear in your urine.
Infections are the major cause of the presence of leukocytes in the urine since they are the cells that response to fight infectious agents. If one notices that the level of white blood cells in the urine is continuously high, it is vital to seek medical attention. The doctor will recommend that a urine sample is taken for sensitivity and culture tests in order to identify the microorganisms present. The results will enable the doctor to prescribe the appropriate antibiotic depending on the condition diagnosed. A patient needs to drink more fluids to help flush out the foreign invaders or infectious microbes from the urinary system.
If no infection is found and high levels of white blood cells remain in the urine, it is vital that images such as X-rays are taken to determine if the patient could be suffering from kidney complications among other possible illnesses.