Measuring Leukocyte Populations

Looking at the ratios of different types of white blood cells, such as monocytes or eosinophils, is used every day to assess potential infections and condition in both humans and animals. As an example, the ratio of heterophils to lymphocytes is often used as an indicator of stress in organisms. And overall white blood counts is used to determine infections in humans. What if there was more information hidden within white blood cell count data that could be useful to determining if an infection was in an early or late stage or the type in infection. A team of colleagues and myself are investigating how using most of the different types of leukocytes in a 3D manner can lead to more useful insights in the timing of infections and potentially the type of infection. Each infection may leave a signature in the community of immunological cells that has been hidden from view until now. In a recent paper in PLoS One, we use both human and canine data to show that leukocyte populations can be used at an individual level to access infection status.