Subcutaneous or intravenous immunoglobulin replacement is the mainstay of treatment for most patients with primary immunodeficiency disease (PID). The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of how existing PID therapies affect patient lives and to identify desired improvements to immunoglobulin treatments.
A large proportion of patients with mutations in the Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WAS) protein gene exhibit the milder phenotype termed X-linked thrombocytopenia (XLT). Whereas stem cell transplantation at an early age is the treatment of choice for patients with WAS, therapeutic options for patients with XLT are controversial. In a retrospective multicenter study we defined the clinical phenotype of XLT and determined the probability of severe disease-related complications in patients older than 2 years with documented WAS gene mutations and mild-to-moderate eczema or mild, infrequent infections. Enrolled were 173 patients (median age, 11.5 years) from 12 countries spanning 2830 patient-years. Serious bleeding episodes occurred in 13.9%, life-threatening infections in 6.9%, autoimmunity in 12.1%, and malignancy in 5.2% of patients. Overall and event-free survival probabilities were not significantly influenced by the type of mutation or intravenous immunoglobulin or antibiotic prophylaxis. Splenectomy resulted in increased risk of severe infections. This analysis of the clinical outcome and molecular basis of patients with XLT shows excellent long-term survival but also a high probability of severe disease-related complications. These observations will allow better decision making when considering treatment options for individual patients with XLT.
The hyper-IgE syndrome (HIES) is a primary immunodeficiency characterized by infections of the lung and skin, elevated serum IgE, and involvement of the soft and bony tissues. Recently, HIES has been associated with heterozygous dominant-negative mutations in the signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) and severe reductions of T(H)17 cells.
Common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) is the most common symptomatic primary immunodeficiency. It can present at any age in patients with a history of recurrent bacterial infections, with or without a family history of other primary immunodeficiencies (PID), and shows a wide range of clinical manifestations and immunological data. Diagnosis is based on low IgG, IgM and/or IgA levels. Delayed diagnosis and therapy can lead to bronchiectasis and malabsorption. The aim of this study was to describe a paediatric population diagnosed of CVID and its evolution in the population. Memory B-cell (MB) classification carried out in these patients was correlated with clinical manifestations and outcome. Clinical and immunological data of 22 CVID children under 18 yr treated at our centre between 1985 and 2005 are presented. Immunological studies included those for diagnosis and MB quantification. Differences in form of presentation, familial incidence and MB classification were reviewed. A statistical descriptive analysis was made. Infections were the commonest manifestation, affecting mainly respiratory (19/22) and gastrointestinal (10/22) tracts. Bronchiectasis was present in seven cases, and detected prior to CVID diagnosis in five. Replacement therapy led to a significant reduction in the number of infections. Severe complications appeared mostly in patients without MB. Patients of the same family share the same MB group. Family members had also been diagnosed of CVID in seven cases. Early diagnosis and therapy are essential to improve outcome in these patients. MB studies are useful in children to orient prognosis and further genetic studies.
Visceral leishmaniasis is a severe form of infection caused by a parasite endemic along the Mediterranean coast. Complications such as infection-associated hemophagocytic syndrome can occur despite correct therapy. We report visceral leishmaniasis-associated infection-associated hemophagocytic syndrome in 3 patients with chronic granulomatous disease.
CGD is an immunodeficiency caused by deletions or mutations in genes that encode subunits of the leukocyte NADPH oxidase complex. Normally, assembly of the NADPH oxidase complex in phagosomes of certain phagocytic cells leads to a "respiratory burst", essential for the clearance of phagocytosed micro-organisms. CGD patients lack this mechanism, which leads to life-threatening infections and granuloma formation. However, a clear picture of the clinical course of CGD is hampered by its low prevalence (approximately 1:250,000). Therefore, extensive clinical data from 429 European patients were collected and analyzed. Of these patients 351 were males and 78 were females. X-linked (XL) CGD (gp91(phox) deficient) accounted for 67% of the cases, autosomal recessive (AR) inheritance for 33%. AR-CGD was diagnosed later in life, and the mean survival time was significantly better in AR patients (49.6 years) than in XL CGD (37.8 years), suggesting a milder disease course in AR patients. The disease manifested itself most frequently in the lungs (66% of patients), skin (53%), lymph nodes (50%), gastrointestinal tract (48%) and liver (32%). The most frequently cultured micro-organisms per episode were Staphylococcus aureus (30%), Aspergillus spp. (26%), and Salmonella spp. (16%). Surprisingly, Pseudomonas spp. (2%) and Burkholderia cepacia (<1%) were found only sporadically. Lesions induced by inoculation with BCG occurred in 8% of the patients. Only 71% of the patients received antibiotic maintenance therapy, and 53% antifungal prophylaxis. 33% were treated with gamma-interferon. 24 patients (6%) had received a stem cell transplantation. The most prominent reason of death was pneumonia and pulmonary abscess (18/84 cases), septicemia (16/84) and brain abscess (4/84). These data provide further insight in the clinical course of CGD in Europe and hopefully can help to increase awareness and optimize the treatment of these patients.
The Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WAS) protein (WASp) is a regulator of actin cytoskeleton in hematopoietic cells. Mutations of the WASp gene cause WAS. Although WASp is involved in various immune cell functions, its role in invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells has never been investigated. Defects of iNKT cells could indeed contribute to several WAS features, such as recurrent infections and high tumor incidence. We found a profound reduction of circulating iNKT cells in WAS patients, directly correlating with the severity of clinical phenotype. To better characterize iNKT cell defect in the absence of WASp, we analyzed was(-/-) mice. iNKT cell numbers were significantly reduced in the thymus and periphery of was(-/-) mice as compared with wild-type controls. Moreover analysis of was(-/-) iNKT cell maturation revealed a complete arrest at the CD44(+) NK1.1(-) intermediate stage. Notably, generation of BM chimeras demonstrated a was(-/-) iNKT cell-autonomous developmental defect. was(-/-) iNKT cells were also functionally impaired, as suggested by the reduced secretion of interleukin 4 and interferon gamma upon in vivo activation. Altogether, these results demonstrate the relevance of WASp in integrating signals critical for development and functional differentiation of iNKT cells and suggest that defects in these cells may play a role in WAS pathology.
Common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) is a primary immunological disease with variable severity, ranging from mild forms of infections to chronic progressive complications. The hallmark of this disorder is hypogammaglobulinemia due to an unknown molecular defect in immune regulation. The primary clinical manifestations are recurrent infections that may lead to structural damage of affected organs. Adequate intravenous immunoglobulin (Ig) therapy has dramatically changed the prognosis of this disorder, and the advent of home subcutaneous Ig therapy has further improved the quality of life of these patients. Aberrant T-cell functions predispose to autoimmune, inflammatory and lymphoproliferative complications, as well as malignancies in a variable percentage of CVID patients. Immunosuppressive anti-inflammatory therapies and chemotherapy are used, although always in conjunction with adequate replacement Ig therapy and adjunct antimicrobial prophylaxis. Any organ can be involved and therefore a multidisciplinary approach to the management of this disorder is essential.
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