Cell mediated immunity

Last updated: Monday, 12, June, 2006

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Depends on test.


A series of tests of lymphocyte function used in the assessment of immune deficiency states, particularly to distinguish defective cell mediated immunity from defective humoral immunity.

Lymphocyte morphology is used as preliminary tests in patients with a suggestive history.

Lymphocyte proliferative response and measurement of cytokine secretion following lymphocyte activation, if further tests indicated.


Severe defects in all these tests are seen in congenital cell mediated immune deficiency states, severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) and HIV infection.

Partial defects may be seen in some primary humoral immunodeficiencies and in patients with chronic infections.


Report of WHO Scientific Group. Clin Exp Immunol 1999; 118(1): 1.