Basophils (Baso, ABC, BA)
Basophils are the smallest population of leukocytes (white blood cells) in the blood. Like all granulocytes, basophils are produced in the bone marrow, from which they get into the bloodstream where they circulate for several hours. Basophils migrate from the bloodstream into tissues to stay there for 8 to 12 days.
Basophils play an important role in allergic reactions (nettle rash, helminth infestation, bronchial asthma, drug disease, etc.). Upon encountering an allergen, basophils degranulate – lose their granules to release bioactive compounds into the blood determining the clinical picture of the disease.
A high basophils count is called basophilia. Basophilia may be caused by allergic reaction (except for the period of the highest level of allergic reaction which is accompanied by the basophil migration into the tissue, and thereby reducing their concentration in the blood), infections (e.g. chickenpox), diseases of the blood system.
A decrease in basophil count (basopenia) has no diagnostic value.