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Book and Media Reviews
July 26, 2006


Author Affiliations

Book and Media Reviews Section Editor: Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA.

JAMA. 2006;296(4):450-455. doi:10.1001/jama.296.4.453

On September 21, 1971, David Vetter was born by cesarean section under germ-free conditions and placed immediately into a sterile isolator. No one in the room at the time could know that he would remain isolated from the microbial and physical world for the next 12 years. David's mother had delivered a healthy daughter, then a son who died at 7 months of age with X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency disease, or SCID. A team of immunologists at Texas Children's Hospital, Baylor School of Medicine, two of them pediatricians and one a basic scientist, had a plan that offered possible survival should the new baby turn out to have SCID. Unfortunately, he did.

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