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These disorders weaken the immune system, the body’s defense mechanism, meaning that infections and other health issues are more likely.
Many of these more than 300 disorders are inherited from one or both parents through the genetic material they share with their children.
The most prominent sign of a primary immunodeficiency disorder is having frequent, longer-lasting infections.
Signs and symptoms can include:
Mild forms of primary immunodeficiency may go undetected for years. Some are so significant that they are diagnosed soon after birth.
If your child has a primary immune disorder, it’s important to do all you can to protect him or her from infection. This includes:
Your doctor can advise you of other strategies to help keep your child well.
There are three facets of treatment for patients who have primary immunodeficiency: preventing and managing infections; reinforcing the immune system through immunoglobulin, interferon-gamma, or growth factor therapy; and treating the underlying cause.
Ongoing research is leading to improved treatments.