Clinical aspects of chronic granulomatous disease

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Data from a registry of 368 patients with chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) document a shift in the most common infecting organisms away from staphylococci and enteric bacteria to Aspergillus species, although staphylococci remain a threat. A. nidulans appears to have a particular virulence in CGD. Burkholderia cepacia sepsis / pneumonia was the second most lethal infection in patients in the registry. Seventy-six percent of registry patients had the X-linked recessive (XLR) form of CGD. Chorioretinitis may be more common than previously appreciated, and boys with the XLR disease should probably have routine full eye exams. A new variant of CGD has been described that is caused by an inhibitory mutation in Rac2, which regulates activity of the neutrophil respiratory burst and actin assembly. Interferon-γ, antibacterial prophylaxis, and, probably, antifungal prophylaxis with itraconazole reduce the rate of infection, and bone marrow transplantation can cure the disease if a histocompatible donor is available. Gene therapy can cure CGD in knockout mouse models. Having even a small percentage of phagocytes that are nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phospate oxidase-positive can reduce the risk of serious infection, and procedures now under study appear close to achieving that goal, if not a cure.

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