Autoimmune neutropenia associated with influenza virus infection in childhood: a case report

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Abstract

Background: Although neutropenia is relatively frequent in infants and children and is mostly a benign condition with a self-limited course, it can lead to life-threatening severe infections. Autoimmune neutropenia is a relatively uncommon hematological disorder characterized by the autoantibody-induced destruction of neutrophils. It is usually triggered by viral infections with very few documented cases after influenza virus. Case presentation: An 8-month-old male infant presented at the emergency room with a 5-days history of fever up to 39.7 °C, cough and runny nose. In the blood test performed, severe neutropenia was diagnosed (neutrophils 109/μL). A nasopharyngeal aspirate revealed a positive rapid test for Influenza A. Serum antineutrophil antibodies were determined with positive results. Neutropenia targeted panel showed no mutations. Despite maintenance of severe neutropenia for 9 months the course was uneventful without treatment. Conclusions: When severe neutropenia is diagnosed and confirmed, it is essential to rule out some potential etiologies and underlying conditions, since the appropriate subsequent management will depend on it. Although autoimmune neutropenia triggered by viral infections has been widely reported, it has seldom been reported after influenza infection. The benign course of the disease allows a conservative management in most cases.

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Callejas Caballero, I., Illán Ramos, M., Berzosa Sánchez, A., Anguita, E., & Ramos Amador, J. T. (2021). Autoimmune neutropenia associated with influenza virus infection in childhood: a case report. BMC Infectious Diseases, 21(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12879-021-06506-9

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