Leiner disease is a rare genetic disorder that is due to a deficiency of a protein. This protein, “complement component 5,” is made by the C5 gene. Signs and symptoms of Leiner disease typically begin when the individual is a baby, within the first few months of life.
Leiner disease is not contagious. It is a long-term condition that may flare up from time to time. One symptom is seborrheic dermatitis. This is especially present on the scalp and other oily parts of the body, such as the face and back. On the scalp, seborrheic dermatitis includes red skin, scaly patches, and recurring dandruff. It is also known as “cradle cap.” Other areas of the skin that are affected, like the arms and legs, may be bright red and look swollen.
Leiner disease causes problems of the immune system and recurring skin and intestinal infections. The individual will feel as if they are getting sick all the time or may have recurrent infections. The protein that is lacking usually helps fight inflammation (swelling) and infection of the body. Without the protein, the individual is more likely to get sick from the Neisseria bacteria. Neisseria cause gonorrhea and meningitis, which are two infections that need to be treated as soon as possible. An individual with Leiner disease may have frequent diarrhea that cannot be stopped.
Leiner disease is inherited in an autosomal recessive manner, meaning both parents pass down a changed (mutated) C5 gene to their child in order for the child to have the condition. A person with one copy of the changed gene is a carrier. Carriers usually do not have symptoms. If both parents are carriers, there is a one in four (25%) chance that their children will have the condition. Leiner disease appears to be more common in females than males. If you or a family member has been diagnosed with Leiner disease, talk with your doctor about the most current treatment options.
Description Last Updated: Feb 13, 2018