Which infectious agents cause severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID)?

Updated: Apr 28, 2021
  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Harumi Jyonouchi, MD  more...
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Loss of immunity results in severe and opportunistic infections that instigate the rapid downhill course of SCID. Essentially, most infectious organisms can cause disease, but the following are the more common infections in SCID:

  • Viral infections – Cytomegalovirus (CMV) (pneumonia, hepatitis); parainfluenza virus 3, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and adenovirus (pneumonia); enterovirus and rotavirus (diarrhea); varicella zoster virus (VZV), herpes simplex virus (HSV), and human herpesvirus 6 (extensive cutaneous disease, meningitis)

  • Candida albicans infections – Thrush; diaper dermatitis progressing to diffuse skin involvement; renal and biliary candidiasis

  • Cutaneous fungal infections

  • Cryptosporidial infections

  • Aspergillus infections (pneumonia)

  • Bacterial infections -Staphylococcus aureus, streptococci, and enterococci (pyodermas, recurrent furunculosis, impetigo); Pseudomonas aeruginosa (ecthyma gangrenosum); Pneumocystis jiroveci (pneumonia); atypical mycobacteria; Pneumococcus and other common bacteria; Haemophilus influenzae and Listeria, Legionella, and Moraxella species

  • Protozoan infections (diarrhea)

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