n South African Journal of Sports Medicine - The effect of a professional cricket match schedule on selected immune parameters : original research article

Volume 16, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1015-5163
  • E-ISSN: 2078-516X



&lt;I&gt;Objective.&lt;/I&gt; The impact of a professional cricket match schedule on white blood cell (WBC) distribution and lymphocyte activation (CD69 expression) was investigated. &lt;br&gt;&lt;I&gt;Methods.&lt;/I&gt; After a 3-month pre-season training period, physical and immune parameters were determined in 14 male cricketers before (B) and after (A) an intensive 5- week match schedule. &lt;br&gt;&lt;I&gt;Results.&lt;/I&gt; Exercise test results were unchanged from B to A. Total WBC counts were similar, but total lymphocyte and lymphocyte subpopulation counts decreased significantly. The CD4:CD8 ratio did not change. After <I>in vitro</I> stimulation, percentage CD4+CD69+ cells increased (B: 54.4 &lt;u&gt;+&lt;/u&gt; 9.7%, A: 64.0 &lt;u&gt;+&lt;/u&gt; 8.5%, &lt;I&gt;p&lt;/I&gt; < 0.01), but absolute CD4+CD69+ cell counts did not change from B to A. In contrast, both the %CD8+CD69+ cells and absolute CD8+CD69+ cell count remained similar. &lt;br&gt;&lt;I&gt;Conclusion.&lt;/I&gt; A strenuous, interregional, professional cricket match schedule resulted in a decreased number of lymphocytes, but relatively increased <I>in vitro&lt;/I&gt; reactivity of CD4+ cells, thus maintaining the absolute capacity of the CD4+ cells to become activated on stimulation. In cricketers who suffered upper respiratory tract symptoms during the match schedule (&lt;I&gt;N&lt;/I&gt; = 7), none of the immune parameters investigated differed significantly from the others at B or A.

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