Primary immunodeficiency diseases (PID) are inherited defects of the innate or adaptive arms of the immune system that lead to an increase in the incidence, frequency, or severity of infections. There may be defects in the adaptive arm of the immune system that include combined immunodeficiency and antibody deficiency syndromes or by abnormalities in innate immunity such as disorders of phagocytes, the complement pathway, or Toll-Like receptor (TLR) mediated signaling. Recurrent sinopulmonary infections with encapsulated bacteria such as Haemophilus influenza type B or Streptococcus pneumoniae may be characteristic of an IgG antibody deficiency or dysfunction. Frequent viral, fungal, or protozoal infections may suggest T lymphocyte dysfunction. Multiple staphylococcal skin infections and fungal infections may imply neutrophil dysfunction or the hyper-IgE syndrome, and recurrent neisserial infection is a characteristic manifestation of late complement component (C5-9, or the membrane attack complex) defects. Recurrent viral or pyogenic bacterial infections often without the presence of a significant inflammatory response suggest a defect in TLR signaling. Mycobacterial infections are characteristic of defects in interleukin (IL)-12, interferon (IFN) gamma, or their receptors. Screening of newborns for T-cell lymphopenia using a polymerase chain reaction to amplify T-cell receptor excision circles (TRECs), which are formed when a T cell rearranges the variable region of its receptor, serves as a surrogate for newly synthesized naïve T cells. Because of very low numbers of TRECs, severe combined immunodeficiency, DiGeorge syndrome, and other causes of T-cell lymphopenia have been identified in newborns.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine