Volume 26, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



The proportion of T and B cells in the peripheral blood of smallpox patients was determined. The average initial percentage of T cells was depressed (41 ± 8.4%) in comparison with uninfected controls (65 ± 7.6%), while the initial B cell counts averaged 26 ± 11.4% and 28 ± 5.1%, respectively. However, initial B cell percentages in four infected patients (two of whom died) were between 9 and 14, which are considerably lower than any control value, the lowest of which was 19%. Review of the literature emphasizes that both cellular and serological immunity play a role in recovery from pox disease; the two patients who had the highest initial nul cell (lymphocytes not identified as either T or B cells) counts died, while none of five patients who had consistently low nul cell counts died.


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