Diagnosis of immunodeficiency caused by a purine nucleoside phosphorylase defect by using tandem mass spectrometry on dried blood spots

Giancarlo La Marca, Clementina Canessa, Elisa Giocaliere, Francesca Romano, Sabrina Malvagia, Silvia Funghini, Maria Moriondo, Claudia Valleriani, Francesca Lippi, Daniela Ombrone, Maria Luisa Della Bona, Carsten Speckmann, Stephan Borte, Nicholas Brodszki, Andrew R. Gennery, Katja Weinacht, Fatih Celmeli, Julia Pagel, Maurizio De Martino, Renzo GuerriniHelmut Wittkowski, Ines Santisteban, Pawan Bali, Aydan Ikinciogullari, Michael Hershfield, Luigi D. Notarangelo, Massimo Resti, Chiara Azzari*

*Corresponding author for this work
26 Citations (Scopus)


Background Purine nucleoside phosphorylase (PNP) deficiency is a rare form of autosomal recessive combined primary immunodeficiency caused by a enzyme defect leading to the accumulation of inosine, 2′-deoxy-inosine (dIno), guanosine, and 2′-deoxy-guanosine (dGuo) in all cells, especially lymphocytes. Treatments are available and curative for PNP deficiency, but their efficacy depends on the early approach. PNP-combined immunodeficiency complies with the criteria for inclusion in a newborn screening program. Objective This study evaluate whether mass spectrometry can identify metabolite abnormalities in dried blood spots (DBSs) from affected patients, with the final goal of individuating the disease at birth during routine newborn screening. Methods DBS samples from 9 patients with genetically confirmed PNP-combined immunodeficiency, 10,000 DBS samples from healthy newborns, and 240 DBSs from healthy donors of different age ranges were examined. Inosine, dIno, guanosine, and dGuo were tested by using tandem mass spectrometry (TMS). T-cell receptor excision circle (TREC) and kappa-deleting recombination excision circle (KREC) levels were evaluated by using quantitative RT-PCR only for the 2 patients (patients 8 and 9) whose neonatal DBSs were available. Results Mean levels of guanosine, inosine, dGuo, and dIno were 4.4, 133.3, 3.6, and 3.8 μmol/L, respectively, in affected patients. No indeterminate or false-positive results were found. In patient 8 TREC levels were borderline and KREC levels were abnormal; in patient 9 TRECs were undetectable, whereas KREC levels were normal. Conclusion TMS is a valid method for diagnosis of PNP deficiency on DBSs of affected patients at a negligible cost. TMS identifies newborns with PNP deficiency, whereas TREC or KREC measurement alone can fail.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)155-159.e3
Publication statusPublished - 07.2014


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