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Is blood lymphocyte count a prognostic biomarker in Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia?
  1. Mathieu Blot1,
  2. Abdeljalil Zeggay2,
  3. Ludwig-Serge Aho-Glele3,
  4. Caroline Laborde1,
  5. Vincent Le Moing4,
  6. Catherine Chirouze2,
  7. Kevin Bouiller2,
  8. Lionel Piroth1
  1. 1 Department of Infectious Diseases, Dijon Bourgogne University Hospital, Dijon, France
  2. 2 Department of Infectious Diseases, Besançon Bourgogne University Hospital, Besançon, France
  3. 3 Epidemiology and Hospital Hygiene Department, Dijon Bourgogne University Hospital, Dijon, France
  4. 4 Tropical and Infectious Diseases, University Hospital of Montpellier, Montpellier, France
  1. Correspondence to Dr Mathieu Blot, Department of Infectious Diseases, University of Burgundy, Dijon 21079, France; mathieu.blot{at}


Lymphopenia is common in patients with sepsis and associated with mortality. Immune-stimulatory therapies likely to restore T-cells count and function are under investigation in sepsis. Our study aimed to assess whether lymphopenia is a reliable prognostic biomarker in Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia. We conducted an ancillary study of the prospective VIRSTA Study including 574 patients with S. aureus bacteremia in two tertiary care centers. Neither lymphocyte count at the onset nor lymphocyte change during the first 4 days was associated with 12-week mortality. These results highlight the importance of characterizing the immune profile of patients with sepsis according to the cause before investigating immunostimulatory therapies to restore lymphocyte proliferation and function.

  • Lymphocytes
  • Sepsis
  • Bacterial Infections
  • Biomarkers
  • Immunosuppression

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  • Contributors MB, LP and VLM designed the study. CC, KB and LP included the patients. MB, AZ and CL collected the data. L-SA-G and MB analyzed the data. MB and KB wrote the manuscript. All the authors approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding The VIRSTA cohort study was funded by the French Ministry of Health (Programme Hospitalier de Recherche Clinique; PHRC 2008-A00680e55).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.