When we compared malnourished infected children (MNI) with well-nourished infected children (WNI) their lymphocytes (under mitogen) are not able to activate cells in the same proportion as WNI. The aim of this work was to assess the in vitro response of periphery lymphocytes after an infection recovery period in MNI and WNI children.
Methods Peripheral blood was obtained the day of hospital admission and one week after infection recovery period. Blood was in vitro activated with mitogen. Cells were stained using the CD69 antibody.
Results It was found that between the two sampling times, WNI showed changes in B (33.6±2.9 vs 22.7±2.2%, p<0.01), CD8+CD69+ (12.5±1.1 vs 8.3±1.1%, p<0.02), and CD19+CD69+ lymphocytes (7.9±0.5 vs 9.9±0.6%, p<0.03). MNI had differences in CD4+ (31.2±3.8 vs 47.5±3.9%, p<0.01) and CD8+CD69+ (6.5±1.2 vs 10.5±1.1%, p<0.03). When the 1 week blood samples of WNI and MNI were compared, changes were found in CD4+, CD19+CD69+ (8.8±0.9 vs 5.6±0.8%, p<0.02) and CD56+CD69+ (7.6±0.7 vs 2.7±0.7%, p<0.001).
Conclusion Differences in subsets of lymphocyte between the first and second sampling time of WNI children showed a recovery of normal values. However, the B lymphocytes showed an increased response capacity. MNI had differences in CD4+ and CD8+CD69+ lymphocytes. This lymphocyte type apparently had an increased response capacity. However, when the responses of WNI and MNI children were compared we found MNI children had a low response capacity for B and NK lymphocytes. These results suggest that the lymphocyte functionality of children under non-completely solved malnutrition is persistently affected.