Immunodeficiency

General Illness Information

Medical Term: Nothing specified

Common Name: Immunodeficiency disorders, immune deficiency

Description: Immunodeficiency is a condition characterized by a decrease in the function of the immune system and the body’s resistance to various infections.

Classification:

Immunodeficiency can be primary and secondary. Depending on the level of disorders and localization of the defect of the immune system, the primary ones are divided into:

  • humoral or anti-inflammatory;
  • cellular;
  • combined;
  • insufficiency of the complement system;
  • defects of phagocytosis.

Depending on the cause, the secondary immunodeficiencies are divided into induced, acquired and spontaneous.

Causes:

  • chronic viral and infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis, herpes, staphylococcus, viral hepatitis, HIV, rubella, pneumococcus, malaria, toxoplasmosis and ascariasis;
  • malignant neoplasms, extending to the blood system and bone marrow;
  • depletion of the body, caused by a deficiency of vitamins, nutrients and minerals. It can be a seasonal vitamin deficiency, that is, a temporary phenomenon;
  • autoimmune diseases;
  • diseases of the endocrine system, represented by hypo- and hyperthyroidism, diabetes mellitus and thyroid dysfunction;
  • surgical manipulation and trauma;
  • senile and child age, pregnancy;
  • severe loss of blood, burns and extensive kidney damage.

Signs & Symptoms:

Immunodeficiency is manifested by susceptibility of the organism to various diseases. A person is often sick. Most often, the following conditions occur:

  • respiratory infections, upper respiratory tract infections;
  • diseases of the paranasal sinuses;
  • anemia;
  • thrombocytopenia;
  • autoimmune diseases;
  • allergies;
  • frequent digestive disorders;
  • unusual reactions to vaccination, the development of sepsis with the use of live vaccines;
  • tumor.

Diagnosis:

Primary immunodeficiency usually occurs immediately after the birth of the child or some time after it. For a precise diagnosis, a number of complex immunological and genetic analyzes are carried out – this helps to determine the area of an immune defect (cell or humoral) and also to determine the type of mutation that caused the disease.

Secondary immunodeficiencies can develop at any period of life. Immunodeficiency can be suspected in the case of frequently recurring infections, the transition of an infectious disease to a chronic form, inefficient conventional treatment, a small but prolonged increase in body temperature. To establish an accurate diagnosis of immunodeficiency, various tests are needed: a general blood test, determination of blood protein fractions, specific immunological tests.

Treatment:

Complex treatment of primary immunodeficiencies begins with an accurate diagnosis.

With insufficient amount of immunoglobulin, lifelong replacement therapy with serum containing conventional donor plasma or antibodies is indicated. Immunostimulating therapy is used. In the case of development of infectious complications, antiviral, antifungal drugs or antibiotics are prescribed.

Treatment of secondary immunodeficiency is aimed at eliminating the causes that contributed to its development. In particular, if an immunodeficiency has arisen as a result of a chronic infection, the centers of inflammation are sanitized.

Immunodeficiency caused by vitamin-mineral deficiency is treated with the help of food supplements, vitamins, minerals.

To accelerate the recovery, drugs for immunostimulation can be prescribed.

Possible Complications:

The frequent complications of immunodeficiency include sepsis, pneumonia, abscess and other serious infectious diseases. In each case, the complications of immunodeficiency are individual. Some disorders associated with immunodeficiency manifest themselves in the form of frequent viral and respiratory diseases. But the most severe forms (HIV) can lead to the death of the patient.

Prevention & Prognosis:

Today, prevention of primary immunodeficiencies does not exist, because the disease is hereditary. To prevent the signs of primary immunodeficiency, it is necessary to determine the probable carriers of genes in families with a positive anamnesis.

Prevention of secondary immunodeficiencies requires preventing HIV infection (safe sex, the use of sterile medical instruments, etc.). People with HIV infection who use injecting drugs are at greater risk for developing illness.

Other:

Not specified.

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