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Immunodeficiency disorders in children

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Immunodeficiency disorders, also known as primary immunodeficiency disorders (PIDDs) or primary immune deficiencies, are a group of rare and inherited conditions in which the immune system does not function correctly, leaving individuals vulnerable to infections and other health problems. These disorders can affect children and adults, but they often become apparent in childhood. There are various types of immunodeficiency disorders, each with its specific characteristics and genetic causes. Here are some common immunodeficiency disorders seen in children:

  • Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID):
    • SCID is a severe and life-threatening condition in which both the T cells and B cells of the immune system are affected.
    • Children with SCID are highly susceptible to severe infections and typically require isolation and protection from pathogens.
    • Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is a common treatment for SCID.
  • Common Variable Immunodeficiency (CVID):
    • CVID is a group of disorders characterized by low levels of immunoglobulins (antibodies) in the blood.
    • Children with CVID are prone to recurrent infections, particularly in the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts.
    • Treatment often involves immunoglobulin replacement therapy to boost antibody levels.
  • X-Linked Agammaglobulinemia (XLA):
    • XLA is a rare genetic disorder that primarily affects males.
    • It leads to a lack of B cells and antibodies, making children highly susceptible to bacterial infections.
    • Lifelong immunoglobulin replacement therapy is typically required.
  • DiGeorge Syndrome:
    • DiGeorge syndrome is a genetic disorder caused by a deletion of a portion of chromosome 22.
    • It can result in a range of symptoms, including heart defects, facial abnormalities, and immune system problems.
    • Children with DiGeorge syndrome often have T-cell deficiencies and may require thymus transplantation or HSCT.
  • Hyper-IgM Syndrome:
    • Hyper-IgM syndrome refers to a group of disorders characterized by high levels of immunoglobulin M (IgM) and low levels of other antibodies.
    • Children with hyper-IgM syndrome are susceptible to bacterial infections and may also have an increased risk of certain cancers.
    • Treatment may include immunoglobulin replacement and medications to stimulate antibody production.
  • Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome (WAS):
    • WAS is a rare X-linked genetic disorder that affects the immune system and blood cells.
    • Children with WAS may experience recurrent infections, bleeding disorders, and an increased risk of autoimmune conditions and lymphomas.
    • Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is a potential treatment option for some children with WAS.
  • Chronic Granulomatous Disease (CGD):
    • CGD is a group of genetic disorders that impair the ability of immune cells to destroy certain bacteria and fungi.
    • Children with CGD are prone to recurrent and severe infections.
    • Management may involve antibiotics, antifungal medications, and stem cell transplantation in severe cases.

It’s important to note that immunodeficiency disorders are diverse, and not all children with these conditions will experience the same symptoms or require the same treatments. Diagnosis and management should be carried out by specialized immunologists and healthcare teams with expertise in these rare disorders. Early diagnosis and appropriate management are crucial to improving the quality of life and long-term outcomes for children with immunodeficiency disorders.

The content is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice or as a substitute for medical advice of a physician