Severe combined immunodeficiencies (SCID) comprise a group of genetic diseases characterized by abrogated development of T lymphocytes. In some case reports of atypical SCID patients elevated proportions of γδ T lymphocytes have been reported. However, it is unknown whether these γδ T cells modulate or reflect the patient's clinical phenotype. We investigated the frequency of elevated γδ T cell proportions and associations with clinical disease manifestations in a cohort of 76 atypical SCID patients. Increased proportions of γδ T lymphocytes were present in approximately 60% of these patients. Furthermore, we identified positive correlations between elevated proportions of γδ T cells and the occurrence of CMV infections and autoimmune cytopenias. We discuss that CMV infections might trigger an expansion of γδ T lymphocytes, which could drive the development of autoimmune cytopenias. We advocate that atypical SCID patients should be screened for elevated proportions of γδ T lymphocytes, CMV infection and autoimmune cytopenias.
Keywords: Atypical SCID; Autoimmune cytopenia; CMV infection; Lymphopenia; Viral infection; γδ T lymphocytes.
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