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IMMUNOLOGY PRACTICAL: Differential Blood Cell Counts

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IMMUNOLOGY PRACTICAL: Differential Blood Cell Counts AIM: To examine a prepared blood smears from humans in order to identify and count different types of white blood cell. Also to analyse and view the data, taken during the course of a parasitic infection (on mice). INTRODUCTION The total number of white blood cell does not necessarily indicate the severity of a disease, since some serious ailment may show a low white blood cell count. For this reason, a differential white blood cell count is performed. A differential white blood cell count consists of an examination of blood to determine the presence and the number of different types of white blood cells. This study often provides helpful information in determining the severity and extent of an infection, more than any other single procedure used in the examination of the blood. The role of white blood cells, or leukocytes, is to control various disease conditions. Although these cells do most of their work outside the circulatory system, they use the blood for transportation to sites of infection. There are five different types of white blood cells, which are normally found in the circulating blood. They are 1) lymphocytes, 2) neutrophils, 3) monocytes, 4) basophils and 5) eosinophils. Lymphocytes constitute 20-40% of the body's white blood cell and 99% of the cells in the lymph. These lymphocytes continually circulate in the blood and lymph and are capable of migrating into the tissue spaces and lymphoid organs, thereby integrating the immune system to a high degree. ...read more.


There is very small population of eosinophils and basophils. For a normal human blood you should expect the following: Table 4 Cell Type: Leukocytes Percentage % Neutrophils 50-70 Lymphocytes 20-40 Monocytes 1-6 Eosinophils 1-3 Basophil <1 According to the class data (see Table 2), the differential cell count for the normal human blood sample compared to the human blood sample used contains neutrophils below the range of 50-70 (decreased), monocytes outside the range of 1-6% (increased), eosinophils are outside the range of 1-3% (increased) and also basophils are outside the range of <1 (increased). This is illustrated in a column bar chart below. Comparisons of the class data with the standard expected results for a normal human blood are shown below in a column bar chart: Graph 2: In this chart we can see that lymphocytes fall in between the expected range. Neutrophil fall below the range and monocytes, eosinophils and basophils are above the expected range value. Reasoning is given below, to why might there be an increase or decrease in leukocytes. In addition to looking at differences in % of different white blood cells, we will also consider estimating total numbers of each type of cell / ml of blood. Graph 3: Number of cell/ml = Total Number of Cells counted X 25 X 104 Number of triple ruled squares Number of cell/ml = 53 X 25 X 104 5 Number of cell/ml = 2.6 x 10 Table below shows the data from a different infection which includes blood counts from different periods post infection. ...read more.


In a person with normally functioning bone marrow, the numbers of white blood cells can double within hours if needed. An increase in the number of circulating leukocytes is rarely due to an increase in all five types of leukocytes. When this occurs, it is most often due to dehydration and hemoconcentration. In some diseases, such as measles, pertussis and sepsis, the increase in white blood cells is so dramatic that the picture resembles leukemia. Reviewing the case study: For case 1 there is a slight difference, but not significant, we say this by look at the total WBC count as it is in range to a normal human blood sample (see Table 7). Monocytes are out of the range by 0.4%. As for the same as case 1, case 2 has a slight difference, but not significant, as the total number WBC count is in range (see Table 7). Monocytes are out of the range by 1.03%, eosinophils by 3.5%, and basophils by 0.8% Case 3 shows Abnormal Results because the total number of WBC count is below the range of 4.5-11.0 x 106/ml; there is a significant difference of 3.39 x 106/ml. A low number of WBCs is called leukopenia. This can be due to bone marrow failure (for example, due to infection, tumor, or abnormal scarring), collagen-vascular diseases (such as lupus erythematosus), disease of the liver or spleen or radiation. Looking at the individual percentage of leukocytes also show a significant difference: neutrophils are below the range by 12.4%, lymphocytes out of range by 12.9%, and monocytes are out of the range by 0.4% (see Table 7). ...read more.

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