oa Current Allergy & Clinical Immunology - Approach to the child with recurrent infections - presentation and investigation of primary immunodeficiency : review article

Volume 21 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1609-3607



Infants and children, as part of normal development of immune competence, experience and survive many infections - mostly subclinical - and a fair number of clinically apparent infectious illnesses. Mature immunity is generally achieved by the time a child reaches school age. An abnormal number and severity of infections are the hallmarks of deficient immunity.

The commonest causes of immunodeficiency worldwide are agents.
, generally the result of genetic defects, are rare conditions. These are suspected when a child or adult suffers from otherwise healthy individuals.
Early diagnosis of PID improves quality of life as . The related morbidity and mortality which inevitably accompanies a delayed diagnosis can often be prevented. Unfortunately delayed diagnosis and its consequences are frequently seen in practice in South Africa.
exist for clinical and laboratory investigations. Guidelines for patient management are easily accessed via the Internet and antenatal diagnosis and genetic counselling are becoming a reality. Gene transfer may offer hope for cures eventually.
An overview of approach to history, clinical examination and appropriate laboratory investigation for suspected diagnosis of PID in children is presented.

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