Virginia Tech finds possible biomarker for rare immunodeficiency condition

Virginia Tech researchers believe they've found a possible biomarker to help detect a rare genetic disease known as severe combined immunodeficiency, or SCID, which leaves patients needing to avoid all human contact and breathe filtered air in order to survive. As HealthCanal reported, a study comparing gut microbes in healthy mice with those that have a defective immune system found that the defective mice had more of a microbe known as Akkermansia muciniphila. But a bone marrow transplant helped those mice develop a more adaptive immune system. The same intestinal microbe can be found in humans. Further research is needed, but the team said their work represents a first step toward potentially addressing SCID, which is loosely related to HIV/AIDS and affects less than 0.1% of the human population. The idea is that a diagnostic biomarker could lead to quicker treatment and boost patients' survival chances. SCID patients are already treated with bone marrow transplants. The Virginia Tech team's work is published in detail in The ISME Journal. Story