The good news is that today Chronic Granulomatous Disease (CGD) is a condition that can be effectively managed, and many patients are leading active, healthy, and productive lives. Children with CGD can attend school, play with their friends, participate in sports, and enjoy lots of fun indoor and outdoor activities. Many adult patients with CGD have jobs, get married, and have children.

The key to managing CGD is early diagnosis and treatment with appropriate prophylaxis (preventive medicine). It is also important to prevent infections by avoiding materials and activities that expose patients to harmful levels of bacteria and fungi.

Preventing Infections

While many children and adults with CGD are leading full lives, and don’t feel very different from their peers, there are some things that they must avoid to remain healthy.

Many physicians suggest that swimming should be confined to well-chlorinated pools. Patients with CGD should avoid wading or swimming in fresh water lakes, ponds and particularly brackish water because these bodies of water harbor microorganisms that are specifically dangerous in CGD. However, salt-water ocean swimming and wading at areas known to be clean is likely safe for CGD patients.

A major risk to patients with CGD is the handling of garden mulch (shredded moldy tree bark) or potting soil. This type of exposure can cause a severe life-threatening pneumonia due to inhalation of the fungus Aspergillus, which likes to live in decaying plant matter. Patients with CGD should remain indoors during mulching in neighboring yards. Once the mulch is settled firmly on the ground and is not being spread or raked, it is much less of a danger to patients with CGD. Patients should avoid turning manure or compost piles, repotting house plants, cleaning cellars or garages, removing carpets, performing demolition, digging in dirt, dusty conditions, cutting grass, raking leaves, hay rides and barns. Aspergillus is also present in many samples of marijuana, so patients with CGD should avoid it.

By managing CGD and avoiding risks, the great majority of patients with CGD can expect to live well into adulthood.

Source: Immune Deficiency Foundation Patient & Family Handbook for Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases FIFTH EDITION Copyright 2013 by Immune Deficiency Foundation, USA. This page contains general medical information which cannot be applied safely to any individual case. Medical knowledge and practice can change rapidly. Therefore, this page should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice.