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Severe combined immunodeficiency

Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) is a very rare and serious condition that affects the immune system, your body's defence against infections. X-linked SCID, the most common type, usually affects only boys. Without treatment, even a common cold could be life threatening for a child with SCID. So until they can be treated, children diagnosed with SCID need to be looked after in a sterile environment, or 'bubble'. So far the only effective treatment for SCID is a bone-marrow transplant that replaces the white blood cells.

A boy with severe combined immunodeficiency.
A boy with severe combined immunodeficiency.
Peter Menzel/Science Photo Library

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