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Primary or secondary asplenia is associated with an increased risk of disseminated infections with encapsulated bacteria (S. pneumoniae, H. influenzae, and N. meningitides). The spleen plays a key role in the phagocytosis and clearance of non-opsonized bacteria. Patients with Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome who receive a splenectomy for treatment of thrombocytopenia are at significantly increased risk for developing sepsis with encapsulated bacteria.
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