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Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), the most severe of the 30 to 40 primary immunodeficiency diseases, is really "a number of diseases," says Michael Blaese, MD.
Blaese, who is a clinical pediatric immunologist and chief of the Cellular Immunology Section of the Metabolism Branch, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Md, points out that there are at least a half dozen to a dozen different forms of SCID.
One reason is that SCID can arise sporadically as well as genetically from two different inheritance patterns: X-linked recessive (as with Houston's David) or autosomal recessive (appearing with or without a deficiency in adenosine deaminase). Some forms are more common than others; a deficiency in adenosine deaminase, for example, occurs in only about 15% of SCID cases.
"Even within SCID, there are different kinds of problems," Blaese said in an interview with JAMA MEDICAL NEWS. "Some people make abnormal enzymes, some of them lack the
Simmons K. SCID takes many forms; infection common. JAMA. 1984;251(15):1935–1936. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340390007003
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