Rapid, New Test Developed For Inherited Immune Deficiency
BETHESDA, MARYLAND - Researchers at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), have developed a new laboratory method that rapidly identifies babies born with inherited forms of severe immune deficiency. The new genetic test, which still must be validated before widespread use, could someday be added to the panel of tests that already screen newborns for a variety of disorders.
The test identifies babies born with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency, or SCID, an illness in which the infant fails to develop a normal immune system. SCID babies can be infected by a wide range of viruses, bacteria and fungi that are normally controlled by a healthy baby's immune system.