SCID added to newborn screening programme
Severe Combined Immuno Deficiency (SCID) has been added to the Newborn Metabolic Screening Panel, under the clinical guidance of Dr Shannon Brothers, a paediatric immunologist currently completing immunopathology training.
“Babies born with SCID can appear healthy but are extremely vulnerable to infection”, says Dr Collette Bromhead, Chief Executive of NZORD. “Screening for this disorder will mean much better health outcomes for these infants.”
The Newborn Metabolic Screening Programme was established in 1969 to diagnose disorders soon after birth. A blood test is done at 48 hours old and over 20 treatable disorders are screened for. Early diagnosis means treatment can start sooner, before a baby gets sick. Each year about 50 babies are found to have a metabolic disorder. Although there is no cure for these conditions, early diagnosis and treatment can significantly impact the severity of the disorder.
SCID is a rare genetic disorder caused by a lack of cells that are essential for immunity. This condition occurs in about one baby every year in New Zealand, and treatment includes antibiotics and a bone marrow transplant.