A 3 year old Turkish girl is described who was suffering from major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II deficiency syndrome, which is characterised by the lack of expression of HLA class II antigens on mononuclear cells. The presence of HLA class II genes was demonstrable at the DNA level. Combined immunodeficiency was indicated by hypogammaglobulinaemia and the absence of delayed type hypersensitivity on skin testing. Further, she was unable to produce specific antibodies towards foreign antigens and suffered from recurrent pulmonary, gastrointestinal, and septic infections from the third month of life. The clinical course was complicated by a Coombs test positive haemolytic anaemia due to the production of autoantibodies against the rhesus "e' antigen, a non-glycosylated protein antigen. Haemolysis could be controlled by oral steroid treatment. This case is of interest as it shows that despite the absence of HLA class II antigens and combined immunodeficiency autoimmune reactions with production of specific autoantibodies directed to protein antigens are possible.
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