Human Monocytes - CD14, CD16 - Ziegler-Heitbrock


A low level of CD16pos monocytes in SARS-CoV-2 infected patients is a marker of severity.


OBJECTIVES: Severe forms of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are characterized by an excessive production of inflammatory cytokines. Activated monocytes secrete high levels of cytokines. Human monocytes are divided into three major populations: conventional (CD14posCD16neg), non-classical (CD14dimCD16pos), and intermediate (CD14posCD16pos) monocytes. The aim of this study was to analyze whether the distribution of conventional (CD16neg) and CD16pos monocytes is different in patients with COVID-19 and whether the variations could be predictive of the outcome of the disease. METHODS: We performed a prospective study on 390 consecutive patients referred to the Emergency Unit, with a proven diagnosis of SARS-CoV 2 infection by RT-PCR. Using the CytoDiff reagent, an automated routine leukocyte differential, we quantified CD16neg and CD16pos monocytes. RESULTS: In the entire population, median CD16neg and CD16pos monocyte levels (0.398 and 0.054 x 109/L, respectively) were in the normal range [(0.3-0.7 x 109/L) and (0.015-0.065 x 109/L), respectively], but the 35 patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) had a significantly (p<0.001) lower CD16pos monocyte count (0.018 x 109/L) in comparison to the 70 patients who were discharged (0.064 x 109/L) or were hospitalized in conventional units (0.058 x 109/L). By ROC curve analysis, the ratio [absolute neutrophil count/CD16pos monocyte count] was highly discriminant to identify patients requiring ICU hospitalization: with a cut-off 193.1, the sensitivity and the specificity were 74.3 and 81.8%, respectively (area under the curve=0.817). CONCLUSIONS: Quantification of CD16pos monocytes and the ratio [absolute neutrophil count/CD16pos monocyte count] could constitute a marker of the severity of disease in COVID-19 patients.

Authors: Vasse M, Zuber B, Goubeau L, Ballester MC, Roumier M, Delcominette F, Habarou F, Jolly E, Ackermann F, Cerf C, Farfour E, Pascreau T, SARS-CoV-2 Foch Hospital Study Group,
Journal: Clin Chem Lab Med; 2021 Feb 22;59(7):1315-1322 . doi:10.1515/cclm-2020-1801
Year: 2021
PubMed: PMID: 33606928 (Go to PubMed)