Phagocytosis and bacterial capacity of peripheral blood leucocytes were studied in 49 children with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. No impairment of phagocytic ability was found, but 36% of children in relapse and 25% in remission had varying degrees of diminished intracellular killing capacity of ingested Staphylococcus aureus. Serial values in the same individual were constant irrespective of drugs used or stage of the disease. There was a highly significant positive correlation between bactericidal capacity ratio and the number of episodes of infection per patient; there was no significant correlation with death from infection.
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