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Comparison of lymphocyte subset populations in children from South Africa, US and Europe

Payne, H; Lawrie, D; Nieuwoudt, M; Cotton, M; Gibb, D; Babiker, A; Glencross, D; (2020) Comparison of lymphocyte subset populations in children from South Africa, US and Europe. Frontiers in Pediatrics , 8 , Article 406. 10.3389/fped.2020.00406. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Typically, African healthcare providers use immunological reference intervals adopted from Europe and the United States (US). This may be inappropriate in a setting with many differences including exposure to different environmental stimuli and pathogens. We compared immunological reference intervals for children from Europe and the US with South African children to explore whether healthy children living in settings with high rates of infectious diseases have different baseline immunological parameters. Methodology: Blood was taken from 381 HIV-uninfected children aged between 2 weeks and 13 years of age from a Child Wellness Clinic in an informal settlement in Cape Town to establish local hematological and lymphocyte reference intervals for South African children. Flow-cytometry quantified percentage and absolute counts of the B-cells, NK-cells, and T-cells including activated, naïve, and memory subsets. These parameters were compared to three separate studies of healthy children in Europe and the US. Results: Increased activated T-cells, and natural killer cells were seen in the younger age-groups. The main finding across all age-groups was that the ratio of naïve/memory CD4 and CD8 T-cells reached a 1:1 ratio around the first decade of life in healthy South African children, far earlier than in resource-rich countries, where it occurs around the fourth decade of life. Conclusions: This is the largest data set to date describing healthy children from an African environment. These data have been used to create local reference intervals for South African children. The dramatic decline in the naïve/memory ratio of both CD4 and CD8 T-cells alongside increased activation markers may indicate that South African children are exposed to a wider range of environmental pathogens in early life than in resource-rich countries. These marked differences illustrate that reference intervals should be relevant to the population they serve. The implications for the developing pediatric immune system requires further investigation.

Type: Article
Title: Comparison of lymphocyte subset populations in children from South Africa, US and Europe
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/fped.2020.00406
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3389/fped.2020.00406
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Inst of Clinical Trials and Methodology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Inst of Clinical Trials and Methodology > MRC Clinical Trials Unit at UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Infection, Immunity and Inflammation Dept
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10101366
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