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April 20, 1984

SCID takes many forms; infection common

JAMA. 1984;251(15):1935-1936. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340390007003

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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