The State Public Health Lab Newborn Screening Program started testing for Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID) syndrome on August 9. SCID is the name for a group of inherited disorders that cause babies to be born without a working immune system, putting them at risk for getting serious infections and death. Governor Doug Ducey signed legislation in May to allow the lab to test for SCID.

Babies with SCID often need a bone marrow transplant to replace some of their immune system cells, specifically T-cells, which help them fight off infections. Ideally, this transplant occurs within the first three months of life. Classic symptoms of SCID are recurrent severe infections, chronic diarrhea and failure to thrive. SCID can impact all populations but is more prevalent in our Athabascan Native American populations at a rate of one in 2,500. It can lead to early death from overwhelming infection. SCID is treatable when detected early through newborn screening. Most diagnosed patients make a full recovery with early intervention.

The Arizona State Public Health Laboratory currently screens every newborn in Arizona for a multitude of disorders, including sickle cell anemia, cystic fibrosis, hearing loss and congenital heart defects. The addition of this test will increase the number of disorders our Newborn Screening panel screens from 30 to 31. You can learn more about the Newborn Screening Program online.