Significant changes of peripheral T lymphocyte subsets in patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome

J Infect Dis. 2004 Feb 15;189(4):648-51. doi: 10.1086/381535. Epub 2004 Feb 4.


This report demonstrates that a rapid decrease of peripheral T cell subsets is a unique characteristic in patients with SARS during acute infection, although total white blood cell counts, red blood cell counts, and platelet counts remain relatively normal. In recovering patients, a rapid and dramatic restoration of peripheral T cell subsets was seen in the periphery. Although the underlying mechanism of the acute decrease of peripheral T cell subsets observed in patients with SARS during the acute stage remains unknown, this clinical characteristic can facilitate an earlier and more accurate diagnosis of SARS.

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, CD / blood
  • CD3 Complex / blood
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Humans
  • Lymphocyte Count*
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / immunology*
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / physiopathology
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology*


  • Antigens, CD
  • CD3 Complex