Primary Immune Tribune
August 2014
Two Important New Studies Further Validate Importance of Newborn Screening for SCID

Within the past three weeks, two landmark studies have been published in major medical journals that bolster the need for universal newborn screening for Severe Combined Immune Deficiency (SCID).

In July, a study in The New England Journal of Medicine examined transplant outcomes for SCID from 2000-2009. Researchers found that infants who received the transplants at the age of 3½ months or younger had a 94% five-year survival rate. These findings underscore the need for swift screening in newborns and intervention in the first few months of life.

This week, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a retrospective study of more than 3 million infants screened for SCID in 10 states, plus the Navajo Area Indian Health Service, finding an incidence of one case of SCID per 58,000 births, nearly twice the previously estimated rate of one in 100,000. The study also found that 92% of infants with SCID who received bone marrow transplants and other early interventions survived, emphasizing the value of early detection and treatment.

Babies with SCID appear healthy at birth, but without early treatment, most often by bone marrow transplant from a healthy donor, these infants cannot survive. Both of these studies add further weight to the importance of screening all newborns for Severe Combined Immune Deficiency. To see a map of the current status of newborn screening for SCID throughout the country and learn more about this important public health initiative, go to the IDF SCID Newborn Screening Campaign page.

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