Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Non-infective colitis in infancy: evidence in favour of minor immunodeficiency in its pathogenesis
  1. Ayodele Ojuawo,
  2. Deborah St Louis,
  3. Keith J Lindley,
  4. Peter J Milla
  1. Gastroenterology Unit, Institute of Child Health, 30 Guilford Street, London WC1N 1EH
  1. Dr Lindley.


Forty two infants below the age of 2 years presenting with chronic non-infective diarrhoea and shown to have histologically proved colitis were investigated over a five year period. Allergic colitis was the most common cause of colitis, accounting for 62% of the cases. Other colitides diagnosed included: non-specific colitis, autoimmune enterocolitis, and ulcerative colitis accounting for 10% each; severe combined immunodeficiency 7%, and Crohn’s disease 3%. A positive family history and a personal history of atopy were obtained in 48% and 29% of the cases respectively. Serum immunoglobulin A, IgG2, and IgG4 were very low in over 50% of the entire cohort of infants with colitis; 66% of those with severe combined immunodeficiency, autoimmune enterocolitis, and ulcerative colitis (n = 11) had low CD3 and CD4 T lymphocytes with an accompanying increase in CD8 in two thirds of those with severe combined immunodeficiency. T lymphocytes were normal in those with allergic colitis. Thus infants with proved non-infective colitis as a group show a high prevalence of IgA, IgG2, and IgG4 deficiency. It is likely that this minor deficiency of mucosa associated immunoglobulin production has a role in the pathogenesis of the colitic process.

  • infants
  • rectal bleeding
  • colitis
  • serum immunoglobulin A
  • immunoglobulin G subclasses

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.