Lymphocyte to Monocyte Ratio as a Screening Tool for Influenza

PLoS Curr. 2010 Mar 29;2:RRN1154. doi: 10.1371/currents.rrn1154.


In fall 2009 the emergency department of a clinic in Greece with increased patient visits due to influenza-like illness observed a particular pattern in the complete blood count (CBC) of these patients. In 90% of all patients with probable influenza, lymphopenia and/or monocytosis were present. Relative lymphopenia with or without monocytosis appears to be a laboratory marker for H1N1 virus infection, a finding that could play a major role in early identifying and treating patients with new influenza A. A ratio of lymphocytes to monocytes below 2 is proposed as a screening tool for influenza infection instead of rapid tests.