Immune Deficiency Disorders

In general, immunodeficiency means that one or more components of the immune system are either absent or not working properly.

People with primary immunodeficiency disease (PID) are born with an immune system that doesn't produce enough antibodies in the blood to fight infection. Primary immunodeficiency disorders are caused by inherent, often genetic, defects in the cells of the immune system.

Symptoms of Primary Immunodeficiency
Primary immunodeficiency causes children and adults to have infections that recur frequently and are usually hard to cure. Warning signs of primary immunodeficiency include:

  • Recurrent ear, nose, or chest infections
  • Deep skin or organ abscesses
  • Failure of an infant to gain weight or grow normally
  • Frequent need for intravenous (IV) antibiotics to clear infections
  • A family history of primary immune deficiency
  • Other warning signs

The World Health Organisation currently recognises more than 100 different PIDs.

Since the discovery of congenital immunodeficiency disease, a large number of other immune deficiency disorders have been described. Patients with immunodeficiency disorders are susceptible to recurrent infections caused by bacteria and opportunistic infections caused by common yeasts and viruses.

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