This myeloid lineage cell is less abundant than it's sibling the neutrophil, however, these cells too carry a high load of enzyme and inflammatory mediator-containing granules.

Along with eosinophils, basophils are thought to play an important part in the elimination and destruction of parasites that are too large to be phagocytosed by neutrophils and macrophages (for example during infections with worms or amoebas).