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Opportunistic Infection Associated With Elevated GM-CSF Autoantibodies: A Case Series and Review of the Literature.


Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) is known to play a key role in enhancing multiple immune functions that affect response to infectious pathogens including antigen presentation, complement- and antibody-mediated phagocytosis, microbicidal activity, and neutrophil chemotaxis. Reduced GM-CSF activity and immune response provides a mechanism for increased infection risk associated with autoimmune pulmonary alveolar proteinosis (aPAP) and other disorders involving the presence of GM-CSF autoantibodies. We present a case series of five patients with persistent or unusual pulmonary and central nervous system opportunistic infections (Cryptococcus gattii, Flavobacterium, Nocardia) and elevated GM-CSF autoantibody levels, as well as 27 cases identified on systematic review of the literature.

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