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Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2011 May;18(5):790-5. doi: 10.1128/CVI.00483-10. Epub 2011 Mar 16.

Reference values of lymphocyte subsets in healthy, HIV-negative children in Cameroon.

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Chantal BIYA International Reference Centre for Research on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Management (CIRCB), BP 3077, Messa-Yaounde, Cameroon.


Lymphocyte subset reference values used to monitor infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, or other immunological disorders in healthy children in Cameroon, are lacking. Values for Caucasian cohorts are already being utilized for clinical decisions but could be inappropriate for African populations. We report here the immunological profile for children aged from birth through 6 years in Cameroon and also compare our values to data from other African and Caucasian populations. In a cohort of 352 healthy children, aged 0 to 6 years, the relative and absolute numbers of T-cell subsets, B cells, and NK lymphocytes were determined from peripheral blood collected in EDTA tubes. Samples were stained with BD Multitest reagents in Trucount tubes and analyzed by using CellQuest-Pro and FlowJo software. We evaluated about 23 different lymphocyte subsets in which the absolute number and percentage values differed significantly (P < 0.05) with age and peaked between 6 and 12 months. B-cell values were higher compared to reported values from developed countries. Differences in activated and differentiated T cells were observed in subjects between 1 and 6 years of age. The absolute CD8(+) T-cell count and the CD4(+)/CD8(+) ratio seem to depend on gender. Normal lymphocyte subsets values among children from Cameroon differ from reported values in Caucasian and some African populations. The differences observed could be due to genetic and environmental factors coupled with the methodology used. These values could be used as initial national reference guidelines as more data are assembled.

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