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Help re white blood cells and lymphocytes

Dom Spinella dspinella at chugaibio.com
Mon Nov 2 15:49:50 EST 1998

> Can someone please explain what should happen to the white blood cell count and
> lymphocytes during an infection. Should they increase in order to fight the
> infection, or do they decrease as they are used up in fighting the infection?
> Any information would be much appreciated.

They increase -- and often dramatically (so much so that the increase
itself is often used as a diagnostic indication of infection).  When
WBCs (and there are several classes in addition to lymphocytes)
encounter an infectious agent they respond by proliferating (among other
things).  Now having said that, this is about the most elementary
question that can be asked about immunology (about Junior High School
Biology level) and maybe you should consider reading a simple lay text
rather than posting to BioNet.  Cheers. --Dom Spinella

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