Increased expression of CD8 marker on T-cells in COVID-19 patients.

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Increased expression of CD8 marker on T-cells in COVID-19 patients.

Blood Cells Mol Dis. 2020 07;83:102437

Authors: Ganji A, Farahani I, Khansarinejad B, Ghazavi A, Mosayebi G

BACKGROUND: Cell-mediated immunity including T-cells (T helper and cytotoxic) plays an essential role in efficient antiviral responses against coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). Therefore, in this study, we evaluated the ratio and expression of CD4 and CD8 markers in COVID-19 patients to clarify the immune characterizations of CD4 and CD8 T-cells in COVID-19 patients.
METHODS: Peripheral blood samples of 25 COVID-19 patients and 25 normal individuals with similar age and sex as the control group were collected. White blood cells, platelets, and lymphocytes were counted and CD4 and CD8 T lymphocytes were evaluated by flow cytometry.
RESULTS: The number of white blood cells, lymphocytes, and platelets were reduced significantly in COVID-19 patients (P < 0.05). The difference in CD4:CD8 ratio, CD4 T-cell frequency, CD8 T-cell frequency, and CD4 mean fluorescence intensity (MFI) was not significant between COVID-19 patients and healthy individuals (P > 0.05); however, the CD8 MFI increased significantly in COVID-19 infected patients (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: Although, there is no significant difference in the ratio of CD4 to CD8 between two groups, the expression level of CD8 in COVID-19 patients was significantly higher than the normal individuals. This result suggested that the cellular immune responses triggered by COVID-19 infection were developed through overexpression of CD8 and hyperactivation of cytotoxic T lymphocytes.

PMID: 32325421 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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