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Investigation for complement deficiency following meningococcal disease

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Simon Hoare, Dr Clark Clark, Dr Anne Fay, Professor Andrew Cant


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Background and aims: The incidence of complement abnormalities in the UK is not known. It is suggested in at least three major paediatric textbooks to test for abnormalities of the complement system following meningococcal disease (MCD). Methods: Over a four year period, surviving children with a diagnosis of MCD had complement activity assessed. A total of 297 children, aged 2 months to 16 years were screened. Results: All children except one had disease caused by B or C serogroups. One child, with group B meningococcal septicaemia (complicated by disseminated intravascular coagulation and who required ventilation and inotropic support) was complement deficient. C2 deficiency was subsequently diagnosed. She had other major pointers towards an immunological abnormality prior to her MCD. Conclusion: It is unnecessary to screen all children routinely following MCD if caused by group B or C infection. However, it is important to assess the previous health of the child and to investigate appropriately if there have been previous suspicious infections, abnormal course of infective illnesses, or if this is a repeated episode of neisserial infection.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hoare S, El-Shazali O, Clark JE, Fay A, Cant AJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Archives of Disease in Childhood

Year: 2002

Volume: 86

Issue: 3

Pages: 215-217

ISSN (print): 0003-9888

ISSN (electronic):

Publisher: BMJ Group


DOI: 10.1136/adc.86.3.215


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