Hyperimmunoglobulin E syndromeJob syndrome; Hyper IgE syndrome
Hyperimmunoglobulin E syndrome is a rare, inherited disease. It causes problems with the skin, sinuses, lungs, bones, and teeth.
Hyperimmunoglobulin E syndrome is also called Job syndrome. It is named after the biblical character Job whose faithfulness was tested by an affliction with draining skin sores and pustules . People with this condition have long-term, severe skin infections.
Pustules are small, inflamed, pus-filled, blister-like sores (lesions) on the skin surface.
The symptoms are most often present in childhood, but because the disease is so rare, it often takes years before a correct diagnosis is made.
Recent research suggests that the disease is often caused by a genetic change (mutation) that takes place in the STAT3 gene on chromosome 4. How this gene abnormality causes the symptoms of the disease is not well understood. However, people with the disease have a higher-than-normal level of an antibody called IgE.
A gene is a short piece of DNA. Genes tell the body how to build specific proteins. There are about 20,000 genes in each cell of the human body. T...
Chromosomes are structures found in the center (nucleus) of cells that carry long pieces of DNA. DNA is the material that holds genes. It is the bu...
An antibody is a protein produced by the body's immune system when it detects harmful substances, called antigens. Examples of antigens include micr...
- Bone and tooth defects, including fractures and losing the baby teeth late
- Skin abscesses and infection
- Repeated sinus infections
- Repeated lung infections
Exams and Tests
An eye exam may reveal signs of dry eye syndrome . A physical exam may also show:
Dry eye syndrome
You need tears to moisten the eyes and to wash away particles that have gotten in. A healthy tear film on the eye is necessary for good vision. Dry...
A chest x-ray may reveal lung abscesses.
Tests used to confirm the diagnosis include:
- Absolute eosinophil count
A complete blood count (CBC) test measures the following:The number of red blood cells (RBC count)The number of white blood cells (WBC count)The tota...
- Serum globulin electrophoresis to look for high blood IgE level
Other tests that may be done:
- CT scan of the chest
- Cultures of the infected site
- Special blood tests to check parts of the immune system
- X-ray of the bones
- CT scan of the sinuses
A scoring system that combines the different problems of Hyper IgE syndrome is used to help make the diagnosis.
There is no known cure for this condition. The goal of treatment is to control the infections. Medicines include:
- Antifungal and antiviral medicines (when appropriate)
Sometimes, surgery is needed to drain abscesses.
Gamma globulin given through a vein (IV) may help build up the immune system if you have severe infections.
Hyper IgE syndrome is a lifelong chronic condition. Each new infection requires treatment.
Complications may include:
- Repeated infections
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of Hyper IgE syndrome.
There is no proven way to prevent Hyper IgE syndrome. Good general hygiene is helpful.
Some providers may recommend preventive antibiotics for people who develop many infections, especially with Staphylococcus aureus . This treatment does not change the condition, but it can lessen its complications.
Fischer A. Primary Immune Deficiency Diseases. In: Kasper DL, Fauci AS, Hauser SL, Longo DL, Jameson JL, Loscalzo J. eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine . 19th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2015;chap 374.
Hsu AP, Davis J, Puck JM, et al. Autosomal dominant hyper IgE syndrome. Gene Reviews. Seattle, WA: University of Washington; 2012;6. PMID: 20301786 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20301786 . Accessed August 1, 2015.
Review Date: 8/1/2015
Reviewed By: Chad Haldeman-Englert, MD, FACMG, Fullerton Genetics Center, Asheville, NC. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.