Prem Menon, M.D. Vimla Menon, M.D.
Asthma, Allergy and Immunology Center
Home | Immunology - Primary Immune Deficiency Diseases (PIDDs)
The immune system is a collection of cells and proteins that works to protect the body from potentially harmful infections caused by microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses and fungi. The immune system plays a role in the control of cancers and other diseases and also is responsible for causing allergies, hypersensitivity and rejection of transplanted organs, tissues and implants.
Primary immunodeficiency diseases are a group of chronic disorders that affect the bodyís immune system and prevent it from functioning properly.
PIDD would result in:
General guidelines for determining if a patient is experiencing too many infections, per the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology are:
Common symptoms of PIDDs include:
Primary Immune Deficiency Diseases may affect the
B- Cells (antibodies), T- cells, T and B cells in combination, Complements or Phagocytes (white blood cells).
The most common immunodeficiencies are caused by defects in your ability to produce blood proteins called antibodies. Antibodies are proteins that attach to the germs and help the body to eliminate them.
Depending on which limb of the immune system is involved, patients may develop recurrent bacterial, viral, fungal, mycobacterial or parasitic infections often with unusual and antibiotic resistant bugs. High index of suspicion is necessary for early and accurate diagnosis.
The PIDDs are diagnosed with appropriate blood tests, i.e. immune evaluation. This involves tests designed to measure the numbers (quantity) and functions (quality) of the various aspects (limbs) of the immune system. Measurement of antibodies, response to immunizations, determination of white cell counts and measuring the T and B lymphocytes (types of blood cells) numbers and functions are important tests for diagnosing PIDDs.
Allergy skin tests are done because allergies often contribute to infection susceptibility, and many patients with immunodeficiency also suffer from allergies.
Treatment involves preventing and treating infections, boosting the immune system with appropriate immunizations, and identifying and treating the underlying cause.
Treatment plan for PIDDs would include:
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology recommends that patients should consult an allergist\ immunologisit if they:
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