Female carriers with X-linked chronic granulomatous disease (XL-CGD) who have < 10% reactive oxygen species (ROS) production due to profound X-chromosome inactivation (XCI or lyonization) are more susceptible to infections. We assessed ROS production in Taiwanese female carriers with XL-CGD to investigate whether the level of ROS correlated to their clinical features of infection, autoimmunity, and autoinflammation.
Clinical course, ROS production, flavocytochrome b558 (Cyto b558) expression, and genetic analysis in carriers were investigated after identifying their index cases between 2004 and 2019.
A total of 19 mothers (median 27 years; range 25-60 years) and three of four girls (range 4-6 years) relative to 22 male index XL-CGD cases from 19 unrelated families were enrolled. Approximately half (8/19, 42%) of the mothers had novel one-allele mutations. Twenty-two of the 23 females were carriers. One carrier with de novo [Arg290X]CYBB who suffered from refractory salmonella sepsis and chorioretinitis as an XL-CGD phenotype had extreme XCI, absent Cyto b558 expression, and only 8% ROS production. The remaining carriers had bimodal patterns of Cyto b558 expressions (median 40.2%, 26.8-52.4%) and ROS production (38.3%, range 28.2-54.2%) sufficient to prevent significant infections, although neck lymphadenitis recurred in one mother and sister who had ROS expressions of 28.2% and 38.0%, respectively. However, none of the carriers had manifestations of autoimmunity or autoinflammation (e.g., photosensitivity, aphthous stomatitis, or joint disorders), of which each was seen in approximately one-third of XL-CGD carriers from the Western world.
One carrier had undetectable Cyto b558 expression and an extremely low ROS production, and consequently presented with an XL-CGD phenotype. One mother and her daughter experienced recurrent neck lymphadenitis despite having sufficient ROS production. Significant autoimmunity/autoinflammation did not develop in any of the carriers. Studies with a longer follow-up period are needed to validate our findings.