Through the use of intravital imaging of the liver, we demonstrate a collaborative role for platelets with Kupffer cells (KCs) in eradicating blood-borne bacterial infection. Under basal conditions, platelets, via the platelet-adhesion receptor GPIb, formed transient touch-and-go interactions with von Willebrand factor (vWF) constitutively expressed on KCs. Bacteria such as Bacillus cereus and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) were rapidly caught by KCs and triggered platelets to switch from touch-and-go adhesion to sustained GPIIb-mediated adhesion on the KC surface to encase the bacterium. Infected GPIbalpha-deficient mice had more endothelial and KC damage than did their wild-type counterparts, which led to more fluid leakage, substantial polycythemia and rapid mortality. Our study identifies a previously unknown surveillance mechanism by which platelets survey macrophages that rapidly converts to a critical host response to blood-borne bacteria.