Table of Contents
What is Immunodeficiency
The absence of IMMUNE SYSTEM components essential for proper IMMUNE RESPONSE and protection from INFECTION – may be congenital (present at birth) or acquired (develop later in childhood or adulthood). As well, immunodeficiency is a consequence of therapies intended to compromise immune function, such as RADIATION THERAPY, CHEMOTHERAPY, and IMMUNOSUPPRESSIVE THERAPY.
Congenital immunodeficiency is genetic (the result of a GENE MUTATION) and may be inherited. Inherited immunodeficiencies can include IMMUNOGLOBULIN deficiencies, disorders of B-cell lymphocytes, disorders of T-cell lymphocytes, and complement disorders. A child born without a THYMUS or a SPLEEN will have multiple immunodeficiencies because these structures are crucial for LEUKOCYTE (white BLOOD cell) formation and maturation.
Immunodeficiency Autoimmune Disorders and virus HIV/AIDS
Acquired immunodeficiency generally occurs as a result of infections, AUTOIMMUNE DISORDERS, or severe trauma (such as burns) that challenges the immune system’s capabilities. Conditions such as DIABETES and CYTOMEGALOVIRUS (CMV) infection commonly cause immunodeficiency. The HIV/AIDSinfection is one of the most serious acquired immunodeficiencies, as it eventually destroys the immune system.
Treatment for Immunodeficiency Disorders
Immunodeficiency disorders are not currently preventable or curable; diligent treatment can usually keep disease progression and symptoms in check. Treatment for immunodeficiency disorders depends on the cause of the disorder and the symptoms it creates. Medications and IMMUNOTHERAPY (biologic response modification) allow many people who have immunodeficiency disorders live fairly normal lifestyles.
See also ANTIBODY-MEDIATED IMMUNITY; B-CELL LYMPHOCYTE; CELL-MEDIATED IMMUNITY; COMMON VARIABLE IMMUNODEFICIENCY (CVID); COMPLEMENT CASCADE; IMMUNE DISORDERS; LIVING WITH IMMUNE DISORDERS; PCID; SEVERE COMBINED IMMUNODEFICIENCY (SCID); T-CELL LYMPHOCYTE.