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02 February 2017

Screening new-born babies for severe combined immunodeficiency could offer advantages from early treatment, according to a new analysis.

The German analysis suggests there is a "hint" of benefit from screening.

It says the accuracy of screening tests is yet to be determined. A trial in France is due to conclude next year.

The analysis was conducted by the German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care.

It says that in Germany screening would probably identify between 20 and 30 babies affected by the problems in a similar population of new-borns to the UK.

It refers to a study in the UK of the benefits of early treatment of infants.

The study, comparing two hospitals, found six deaths in a group of 60 babies who received treatment early in life. This compared with 29 deaths among 48 patients who started treatment later.

Similar results were found in a second study of early transplantation.

The report says: "Overall, a hint of a benefit of an earlier start of treatment with infection prophylaxis and subsequent stem cell transplantation can be derived from the data.

"The certainty of results is restricted by the study design (non-randomised and retrospective) and the incompleteness of data."


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