Primary immunodeficiency diseases (PIDD) are a group of inherited disorders of the immune system that are associated with increased susceptibility to frequent and often serious infections.
There are many types—more than 150, according to the World Health Organization. Some of them can be severe and even fatal if left untreated. These diseases can appear at any age, and severe diseases are more common in early childhood.
PIDD can be difficult to spot because these diseases may appear to be ordinary infections, allergies or autoimmune diseases, such as lupus. If you have a persistent or chronic infection that is slow to heal or has not responded well to antibiotics, it could be the result of an immune system disorder.
The first step in diagnosing a primary immunodeficiency disease is a thorough evaluation of the patient’s immune system, which includes:
- Medical history
- Physical examination
- Blood tests
- Vaccine tests
Blood tests can reveal whether any part of the patient’s immune system is missing or working improperly. Vaccines may be given to test the immune system’s ability to fight invaders.
At the Modell center, additional laboratory tests can further detail any gene mutations. This can help in diagnosing the disease and in guiding treatment options.
UCI Health immunology specialists use the latest technology and diagnostic techniques to look for signs of infections caused by disorders of the immune system.
If any disorders are found, we offer a course of treatment that may include administration of antibodies and guidance for stem cell transplantation and gene therapy.
The Jeffrey Modell Center for Primary Immunodeficiencies is located at Gottschalk Medical Plaza on the university campus in Irvine.
For more information or to make an appointment, please call 949-824-8600.