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Term / Chronic Granulomatous Disease

Chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) is a genetic disorder in which cells of the immune system are unable to kill some types of bacteria and fungi. The disorder leads to long term (chronic) and repeated (recurrent) infections. CGD is often diagnosed in very early childhood, although milder forms may be diagnosed during the teen years or even in adulthood.

Impetigo, skin abscesses and furuncles, perianal and rectal abscesses are common in people with this disorder. Pneumonia that keeps coming back, and is caused by bacteria not typical of most pneumonias, is a significant problem. Chronic swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck, with the formation of abscesses, is also common.

Risk factors include a family history of recurrent or chronic infections.

About half of CGD cases are transmitted as a recessive, sex-linked trait. This means that boys are more likely to inherit the disorder than are girls. About 1 in every million people have been diagnosed with CGD. Long-term antibiotic treatments may help to reduce infections, but early death is typically a result of repeated lung infections.

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