Neutrophil dysfunction in diabetes mellitus

James S. Tan, Jana L. Anderson, Chatrchai Watanakunakorn*, John P. Phair

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

162 Scopus citations


The neutrophil bactericidal capacity of 31 patients with diabetes mellitus in a nonketoacidotic state, including 21 without infections and 10 with recurrent infections, were evaluated. The killed intracellular bacteria (KICB) expressed as the percentage of the initial inoculum for 25 normal control subjects was 95.4 (SD = ± 2.7), and that for the diabetic group was 72.8 (SD = ± 30.7) with a p value of < 0.01. In 17 out of 31 diabetic patients, the KICB was greater than minus two standard deviations of the control mean. Using the lysostaphin assay technique, 11 patients were shown to phagocytize poorly, 3 had impaired intracellular killing, and 3 had a combined defect. These defects were not correctable by normal serum nor related to blood-glucose levels. No apparent correlation with infection could be demonstrated. Five of the 10 patients with recurrent infections and 12 out of 21 patients without infections had a neutrophil dysfunction. However, all 3 patients with a combined defect had severe bacterial infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-33
Number of pages8
JournalThe Journal of laboratory and clinical medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1975

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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