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Entries from February 1, 2015 - February 28, 2015


New disease (and cure!) found

As part of an ERC funded research program, the Autoimmune Genetics Laboratory is searching the genomes of young children with severe immune diseases to look for novel genes (and hopefully treatments). In a collaboration with Prof Carine Wouters and Prof Isabelle Meyts at UZ Leuven, we found mutations in a new gene, CECR1, in three severely ill children. Two of the children were born with a severe immune deficiency, making them prone to infections, while the third developed an inflammatory disease known as Castleman's disease. Mutations in the same gene, which produces the protein ADA2, were independently found by two other groups to give vascular disease and early-onset stroke. 

These studies identify ADA2-deficiency as a previously undiagnosed primary immunodeficiency which includes components of immune deficiency, inflammation and vasculopathy. Most importantly, this new diagnosis comes with a successful cure: prior to genetic diagnosis, our clinical collaborators were able to successfully treat the disease with bone-marrow transplanation (for the immunodeficient patient) or tocilizumab (for the Castleman's disease patient). These results therefore not only add to our knowledge about medical genetics, but also provide a direct diagnosis-treatment pathway for any new children identified with these severe diseases.

Read more:

Van Eyck, Hershfield, Pombal, Kelly, Ganson, Moens, Frans, Schaballie, De Hertogh, Dooley, Bossuyt, Wouters, Liston* and Meyts*. Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation rescues the immunologic phenotype and prevents vasculopathy in patients with adenosine deaminase 2 deficiency. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2015 Jan;135(1):283-287.e5.

Van Eyck, Liston and Wouters. Mutant ADA2 in vasculopathies. N Engl J Med. 2014 Jul 31;371(5):480

Van Eyck, Liston and Meyts. Mutant ADA2 in vasculopathies. N Engl J Med.  2014 Jul 31;371(5):478-9.


If you would like to support our clinical research, and allow us to take on more cases like this one, you can make a tax-deductable donation the Ped IMID fund, by transferring to IBAN-number BE45 7340 1941 7789, BIC-code: KREDBEBB with the label "voor EBD-FOPIIA-O2010".