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In Clinica chimica acta; international journal of clinical chemistry

Background : We observe changes of the main lymphocyte subsets (CD16+CD56、CD19、CD3、CD4、and CD8) in COVID-19-infected patients and explore whether the changes are associated with disease severity.

Methods : One-hundred fifty-four cases of COVID-19-infected patients were selected and divided into 3 groups (moderate group, severe group and critical group). The flow cytometry assay was performed to examine the numbers of lymphocyte subsets.

Results : CD3+, CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocyte subsets were decreased in COVID-19-infected patients. Compared with the moderate group and the sever group, CD3+, CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in the critical group decreased greatly (P < 0.001, P= 0.005 or P = 0.001).

Conclusions : Reduced CD3+, CD4+, CD8+ T lymphocyte counts may reflect the severity of the COVID-19. Monitoring T cell changes has important implications for the diagnosis and treatment of severe patients who may become critically ill.

Liu Rui, Wang Ying, Li Jie, Han Huan, Xia Zunen, Liu Fang, Wu Kailang, Yang Lan, Liu Xinghui, Zhu Chengliang


CD3+ T cells, CD4+ T cells, CD8+ T cells, COVID-19, lymphocyte subsets