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A term used to describe substances that will disrupt a cell, with the release of some of its constituents. Unless the damage is minor, this action leads to the death of the cell. Lysins vary in the range of host species whose cells they will attack and in their requirements for accessory factors for lysis; the immune lysins are strictest in their requirements. Erythrocytes are lysed by a wide variety of chemicals, including water and hypertonic salt solutions, which displace the osmotic pressure from that of isotonicity. They are also susceptible to surface-active substances, such as saponin. Many bacteria, such as the staphylococcus and the streptococcus, elaborate one or more hemolysins that will lyse erythrocytes from certain, although not all, species of animals. See Lytic reaction