Benign familial leukopenia and neutropenia in different ethnic groups

Eur J Haematol. 1988 Sep;41(3):273-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0609.1988.tb01192.x.


Benign hereditary leukopenia-neutropenia has been reported in several ethnic groups, including Yemenite Jews, Blacks of South African extraction, West Indians and Arab Jordanians. The subjects with BFL were shown not to have an increased incidence of infections, and their response to infection did not differ from subjects having normal white blood cell counts. This study entails the report of two additional unrelated ethnic groups with familial neutropenia - Black Beduin and Falashah Jews. The familial nature of the phenomenon was confirmed. The suggested mechanism of this type of neutropenia is a defect in release of mature WBC from the bone marrow to the peripheral circulation. All ethnic groups thus far reported have tanned or dark skin. The significance of this common feature has still to be elucidated.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Agranulocytosis / genetics*
  • Disease Susceptibility
  • Ethiopia / ethnology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Jews
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Leukopenia / blood
  • Leukopenia / ethnology
  • Leukopenia / genetics*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neutropenia / blood
  • Neutropenia / ethnology
  • Neutropenia / genetics*
  • Saudi Arabia / ethnology