- 1 Cancer Research Centre (IBMCC, USAL-CSIC), Dep. of Medicine and Cytometry Service, Salamanca, Spain;
- 2 Microbiology service, University Hospital of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain;
- 3 Centro de Atención Primaria de Salud Miguel Armijo, Salamanca, Spain;
- 4 Centro de Atención Primaria de Salud de Ledesma, Salamanca, Spain;
- 5 Hospital Universitario de Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain;
- 6 Biochemistry service, University Hospital of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain
- ↵* Corresponding author; email:
Patients diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia display a high incidence of infections due to an associated immunodeficiency that includes hypogammaglobulinemia. A higher risk of infections has also been recently reported for high-count monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis, while no information is available in low-count monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis. Here, we evaluated the status of the humoral immune system in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (n=58), as well as in low- (n=71) and high-count (n=29) monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis vs. healthy donors (n=91). Total free plasma immunoglobulin titers and specific levels of antibodies against cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr Virus, Influenza and S.pneumoniae were measured by nephelometry and ELISA-based techniques, respectively. Overall, our results show that both chronic lymphocytic leukemia and high-count monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis patients, but not low-count monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis subjects, present with relatively high levels of antibodies specific for the latent viruses investigated, associated with progressively lower levels of S.pneumoniae-specific immunoglobulins. These findings probably reflect asymptomatic chronic reactivation of humoral immune responses against host viruses associated with expanded virus-specific antibody levels and progressively decreased protection against other microorganisms, denoting a severe humoral immunodeficiency state not reflected by the overall plasma immunoglobulin levels. Alternatively, these results could reflect a potential role of ubiquitous viruses in the pathogenesis of the disease. Further analyses are necessary to establish the relevance of such asymptomatic humoral immune responses against host viruses in the expansion of the tumor B-cell clone and progression from monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis to chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
The Primary Health Care Group of Salamanca for the Study of MBL: Alfonso Romero
- Received October 26, 2016.
- Accepted April 5, 2017.
- Copyright © 2017, Ferrata Storti Foundation