Leukopenia - Definition

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Leukocytes are white blood cells that enter into the functioning of the body's immune system. Low levels of circulating leukocytes in the blood, or leukopenia, can lead to a malfunction in the body's immunity. The patient is more susceptible to bacterial, viral, or parasitic infections and falls ill more easily. A low rate of leukocytes may indicate a viral infection, but may also be the result of certain medications which decrease immunity as in chemotherapy, or may be a sign of a bone marrow disease.