T and B Rosetting Lymphocytes in the Blood of Smallpox Patients

View More View Less
  • Johns Hopkins University Center for Medical Research, Institute of Public Health, Dacca, Bangladesh
Restricted access

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.