Neutrophil function was assessed regularly in 26 children with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) in remission, both when they were well and during viral infections. Tests of candidacidal ability when these children were apparently free of infection showed a trend towards lower levels compared with controls. The most pronounced depression of candidacidal ability and chemotaxis was during viral infections, and these two functions of neutrophils were more likely to be abnormal then than when the children were free of infection. In children with ALL in remission, whose neutrophils may function abnormally even when they are well, the risk of acquiring bacterial or fungal infections may be made greater by virus infections.
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