To compare T-cell function in healthy/septic preterms in relation to healthy term babies. Also to determine correlation of sepsis severity with T-cell function and risk to candidal infection.
Patients were recruited to one of three groups. Group (I) included 30 healthy growing preterms, group (II) included preterms with neonatal sepsis whereas group (III) included 30 healthy full term neonates. Patients underwent history taking and comprehensive examination plus laboratory tests including T-Lymphocyte function by blastoid transformation method using phytohaemagglutinin (PHA).
A significant difference exists between healthy preterm vs. septic newborn T cell counts and functions especially those with multiorgan system failure. No correlation was found between candidal infection and T cell functions.
T cell functions are remarkably lower in septic newborns. Septic preterms may have low T cell functions despite absence of lymphopenia. Early detection is advised to improve outcome.