Newborn Screening for SCID Identifies Patients with Ataxia Telangiectasia

Department of Pediatrics, University of California San Francisco, 513 Parnassus Avenue, HSE 301A, Box 0519, San Francisco, CA, 94143-0519, USA.
Journal of Clinical Immunology (Impact Factor: 2.65). 12/2012; 33(3). DOI: 10.1007/s10875-012-9846-1
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT PURPOSE: Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) is characterized by failure of T lymphocyte development and absent or very low T cell receptor excision circles (TRECs), DNA byproducts of T cell maturation. Newborn screening for TRECs to identify SCID is now performed in several states using PCR of DNA from universally collected dried blood spots (DBS). In addition to infants with typical SCID, TREC screening identifies infants with T lymphocytopenia who appear healthy and in whom a SCID diagnosis cannot be confirmed. Deep sequencing was employed to find causes of T lymphocytopenia in such infants. METHODS: Whole exome sequencing and analysis were performed in infants and their parents. Upon finding deleterious mutations in the ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) gene, we confirmed the diagnosis of ataxia telangiectasia (AT) in two infants and then tested archival newborn DBS of additional AT patients for TREC copy number. RESULTS: Exome sequencing and analysis led to 2 unsuspected gene diagnoses of AT. Of 13 older AT patients for whom newborn DBS had been stored, 7 samples tested positive for SCID under the criteria of California's newborn screening program. AT children with low neonatal TRECs had low CD4 T cell counts subsequently detected (R = 0.64). CONCLUSIONS: T lymphocytopenia in newborns can be a feature of AT, as revealed by TREC screening and exome sequencing. Although there is no current cure for the progressive neurological impairment of AT, early detection permits avoidance of infectious complications, while providing information for families regarding reproductive recurrence risks and increased cancer risks in patients and carriers.

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    ABSTRACT: Introduction Early diagnosis of primary immunodeficiency such as severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) and X-linked agammaglobulinemia (XLA) improves outcome of affected infants/children. The measurement of T-cell receptor excision circles (TRECS) and kappa-deleting recombination excision circles (KRECS) can identify neonates with severe T or B-cell lymphopenia. Objectives To determine TRECS and KRECS levels from prospectively collected dried blood spot samples (DBS) and to correctly identify severe T and B-cell lymphopenia. Material and methods Determination of TRECS and KRECS by multiplex PCR from neonates born in two tertiary hospitals in Seville between February 2014 and May 2014. PCR cut-off levels: TRECS<15 copies/μl, KRECS<10copies/μl, ACTB (β-actin)>1000 copies/μl. Internal (XLA, ataxia telangiectasia) and external (SCID) controls were included. Results A total of 1068 out of 1088 neonates (mean GA 39 weeks (38-40) and BW 3238 g (2930-3520) were enrolled in the study. Mean (median, min/max) copies/μl, were as follows: TRECS 145 (132, 8/503), KRECS 82 (71, 7/381), and ACTB 2838 (2763, 284/7710). Twenty samples (1.87%) were insufficient. Resampling was needed in one neonate (0.09%), subsequently giving a normal result. When using lower cut-offs (TRECS<8 and KRECS<4 copies/μl), all the samples tested were normal and the internal and external controls were correctly identified. Conclusion This is the first prospective pilot study in Spain using TRECS/KRECS/ACTB-assay, describing the experience and applicability of this method to identify severe lymphopenias. The ideal cut-off remains to be established in our population. Quality of sampling, storage and preparation need to be further improved.
    Anales de Pediatría 11/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.anpedi.2014.08.002 · 0.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) encompasses a group of disorders characterized by reduced or absent T-cell number and function and identified by newborn screening utilizing T-cell receptor excision circles (TRECs). This screening has also identified infants with T lymphopenia who lack mutations in typical SCID genes. We report an infant with low TRECs and non-SCID T lymphopenia, who proved upon whole exome sequencing to have Nijmegen breakage syndrome (NBS). Exome sequencing of DNA from the infant and his parents was performed. Genomic analysis revealed deleterious variants in the NBN gene. Confirmatory testing included Sanger sequencing and immunoblotting and radiosensitivity testing of patient lymphocytes. Two novel nonsense mutations in NBN were identified in genomic DNA from the family. Immunoblotting showed absence of nibrin protein. A colony survival assay demonstrated radiosensitivity comparable to patients with ataxia telangiectasia. Although TREC screening was developed to identify newborns with SCID, it has also identified T lymphopenic disorders that may not otherwise be diagnosed until later in life. Timely identification of an infant with T lymphopenia allowed for prompt pursuit of underlying etiology, making possible a diagnosis of NBS, genetic counseling, and early intervention to minimize complications.
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    ABSTRACT: A male infant developed generalized rash, intestinal inflammation and severe infections including persistent cytomegalovirus. Family history was negative, T cell receptor excision circles were normal, and engraftment of maternal cells was absent. No defects were found in multiple genes associated with severe combined immunodeficiency. A 9/10 HLA matched unrelated hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) led to mixed chimerism with clinical resolution. We sought an underlying cause for this patient's immune deficiency and dysregulation. Clinical and laboratory features were reviewed. Whole exome sequencing and analysis of genomic DNA from the patient, parents and 2 unaffected siblings was performed, revealing 2 MALT1 variants. With a host-specific HLA-C antibody, we assessed MALT1 expression and function in the patient's post-HCT autologous and donor lymphocytes. Wild type MALT1 cDNA was added to transformed autologous patient B cells to assess functional correction. The patient had compound heterozygous DNA variants affecting exon 10 of MALT1 (isoform a, NM_006785.3), a maternally inherited splice acceptor c.1019-2A > G, and a de novo deletion of c.1059C leading to a frameshift and premature termination. Autologous lymphocytes failed to express MALT1 and lacked NF-κB signaling dependent upon the CARMA1, BCL-10 and MALT1 signalosome. Transduction with wild type MALT1 cDNA corrected the observed defects. Our nonconsanguineous patient with early onset profound combined immunodeficiency and immune dysregulation due to compound heterozygous MALT1 mutations extends the clinical and immunologic phenotype reported in 2 prior families. Clinical cure was achieved with mixed chimerism after nonmyeloablative conditioning and HCT.

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