A novel X-linked recessive form of Mendelian susceptibility to mycobaterial disease

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Mendelian susceptibility to mycobacterial disease (MSMD) is associated with infection caused by weakly virulent mycobacteria in otherwise healthy people. Causal germline mutations in five autosomal genes (IFNGR1, IFNGR2, STAT1, IL12RB1, IL12B) and one X-linked (NEMO) gene have been described. The gene products are physiologically related, as they are involved in interleukin 12/23-dependent, interferon γ-mediated immunity. However, no genetic aetiology has yet been identified for about half the patients with MSMD.


A large kindred was studied, including four male maternal relatives with recurrent mycobacterial disease, suggesting X-linked recessive inheritance. Three patients had recurrent disease caused by the bacille Calmette–Guérin vaccine, and the fourth had recurrent tuberculosis. The infections showed tropism for the peripheral lymph nodes.


Known autosomal and X-linked genetic aetiologies of MSMD were excluded through genetic and immunological investigations. Genetic linkage analysis of the X-chromosome identified two candidate regions, on Xp11.4–Xp21.2 and Xq25–Xq26.3, with a maximum LOD score of 2.


A new X-linked recessive form of MSMD is reported, paving the way for the identification of a new MSMD-causing gene.

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