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Epithelial Chemical Barriers

  • Epithelial membranes produce protective chemicals that destroy microorganisms

    • Skin acidity (pH of 3 to 5) inhibits bacterial growth

    • Sebum contains chemicals toxic to bacteria

  • Stomach mucosae secrete concentrated HCl and protein- digesting enzymes both which kill microorganisms

  • Saliva and lacrimal fluid of the eye contain lysozyme that destroys bacteria

  • Mucus traps microorganisms that enter the digestive and respiratory systems

Copyright © 2006 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings

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