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Clin Exp Immunol. 1995 Nov;102(2):290-6.

Fulminant meningococcal septic shock in a boy with combined inherited properdin and protein C deficiency.

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Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


A 7-year-old patient with fulminant septic shock due to Neisseria meningitidis of the uncommon serogroup Y developed extensive gangrene of the limbs. Multiple amputations were necessary and a pulmonary embolism occurred within 2 days post-operatively. Complement and haemostatic system studies, done after recovery, showed a complete absence of properdin antigen and a low protein C antigen and activity level in plasma. Defective haemolytic activity in gel by the alternative pathway of complement activation could be restored with purified properdin, indicating a properdin deficiency type 1. Protein C antigen level as well as activity were in agreement with a protein C deficiency type I. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) product of exon five of the protein C gene showed a substitution of 72Gly by Arg. Both deficiencies were traced among relatives of the patient. Serum of the father of the patient's mother was also properdin-deficient. Microsatellite haplotyping of the X-chromosome of the patient and his relatives showed that a distinct haplotype cosegregated with the properdin deficiency (Lodscore 2.25; four informative meioses). The protein C type I deficiency was present in the patient's mother and her mother and cosegregated with the mutation found. So far as is known, this is the first patient described with combined inherited properdin deficiency and protein C deficiency.

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