T- Cells are those white blood cells that are responsible for retaining and looking after our immune system. CD 4 cells and CD8 cells are two types of T- Cells.
CD4 Cells have GlycoprotienCD 4 molecules on their surface, to react and respond to any harmful external microorganism, like bacteria and virus. These CD4 Cells act as the host cells for the replication of the HIV virus. HIV virus, being a retrovirus, requires cells from the patient's body, to replicate. It other wise, cannot replicate on its own. When the HIV virus attacks our body, it infects the CD 4 Cells, thereby deteriorating our immunity system, as these cells are the seat of human immunity. The more the CD 4 Cells are attacked, the worse our immunity system gets. It makes the patient more vulnerable to those diseases, which can be easily resisted when the CD4 count is high.
The more the CD4 Cells, the better the person's immunity. The extent of HIV invasion on our body and the degradation in our immunity system can be measured by counting the number of CD4 Cells in per cubic millimeter of our blood. In a healthy adult, it can vary from 600 to 1200 CD4 count in per cubic millimeter. If the number of active CD 4 cells fall below 400, medical aid must be sought.
In a HIV+ person, if the CD4 count varies between 300 to 500, then he is in a very good condition. However, if the count goes below 200, then the patient is likely to be more vulnerable to opportunistic infections and is on a path of fatal consequences. In this case, only prophylactic antibiotics can come to some meager help.
Purpose of CD 4 count:
Functions of CD4 Cells:
How can CD4 cells be counted?
The safest way to count CD4 cells is by undergoing a normal blood test and reading the CD 4 count from the sample of blood.
The CD4 cells are very complex Glycoprotien, which works in a very complicated way at a microscopic level to sustain our immunity system and to destroy the HIV and other harmful foreign viruses. However, these cells are an important part of blood, as they help us in fighting external harmful micro- organisms. Its count should always be maintained above 1200, or one might fall prey to several diseases. In case the person has contracted HIV, he should immediately consult the doctor and count the number of CD 4 cells in his blood. In case it is on a fall, then he should resort to prophylactic antibiotics, to retain its count.