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Inflammation is a significant marker of individual health status during pathological conditions and infection. Erythrocytes are extremely vulnerable cells, particularly to oxidative stress or cytokine upregulation, which are characteristically seen in inflammatory diseases. The multifactorial inflammation ...

Inflammation is a significant marker of individual health status during pathological conditions and infection. Erythrocytes are extremely vulnerable cells, particularly to oxidative stress or cytokine upregulation, which are characteristically seen in inflammatory diseases. The multifactorial inflammation process affects erythrocyte rheology, changing parameters such as erythrocyte aggregation and whole blood viscosity.

During inflammation, erythrocytes can undergo both biochemical, as well as biophysical alterations. Biochemical changes can be seen as disruptions in the molecular arrangement of the bilayer, whereas biophysical changes are noted as changes to the general structural arrangement and erythrocyte morphology, translating to changes in erythrocyte mechanics. Inflammatory molecules interact with erythrocyte membranes which may lead to eryptosis which is commonly characterized by cell shrinkage and cell membrane scrambling. Erythrocytes also rely on metabolic activities to maintain cellular shape and flexibility and to keep key constituents in reduced, active form. When these activities do not function properly, complications may occur in several reactions in a metabolic pathway.

Erythrocytes also play a vital role in immune and defence mechanisms. They have shown to attach to bacteria and to transport them to the liver and spleen for final eradication. This process in the reduction of both viral infectivity and pathogen load in the circulation has been attributed to receptors on the cell membrane for numerous viruses.

Many aspects of the role of erythrocytes in inflammation/infection have been studied. However, modern concepts of the role erythrocytes play in inflammatory/infections and how this can be used in precision medicine remain understudied.

In this research topic, we welcome authors to submit Original Research, Review and Perspective articles related to the pathological changes in erythrocytes during inflammation/infection. Studies using human, animal or cell models are welcomed. We anticipate that this special issue will help to further define the role of erythrocytes during inflammation/infection to provide insight in their role as health indicators.

Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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