SCID newborn screening: What we've learned

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2021 Feb;147(2):417-426. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2020.10.020.


Newborn screening for severe combined immunodeficiency, the most profound form of primary immune system defects, has long been recognized as a measure that would decrease morbidity and improve outcomes by helping patients avoid devastating infections and receive prompt immune-restoring therapy. The T-cell receptor excision circle test, developed in 2005, proved to be successful in pilot studies starting in the period 2008 to 2010, and by 2019 all states in the United States had adopted versions of it in their public health programs. Introduction of newborn screening for severe combined immunodeficiency, the first immune disorder accepted for population-based screening, has drastically changed the presentation of this disorder while providing important lessons for public health programs, immunologists, and transplanters.

Keywords: Primary immunodeficiency; T-cell receptor excision circle (TREC); dried blood spot; lymphopenia; newborn screening; severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID).

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Neonatal Screening / methods*
  • Severe Combined Immunodeficiency / diagnosis*