What is Immunodeficiency?

Immunodeficiency is the name for many diseases when there is no protection from viral or bacterial infections. Some of these diseases are inherited, and some may happen later in life. Immunodeficient people lack natural protection against infections and may die if not treated correctly. Genetic Immunodeficiency is rare. There are only handful of diseases affecting a very small proportion of people that are caused by genetic problem with immune cells. Unfortunately, these diseases are extremely dangerous and can cause death if not immediately recognized. There is a mandatory testing of all newborns for the most dangerous types of immunodeficiency, and pediatricians watch out for families which are carriers of affected chromosomes. Secondary immunodeficiency can be due to viruses that affect cells and interfere with their protective functions. HIV is one of the most known viral syndromes, but other viruses can do lots of damage too. Certain types of immunodeficiency can be a result of medications and chemotherapy. Immunosuppressive treatments that are used in many autoimmune diseases ‘slow down’ immune attack that self-destroys the organs, but at the same time they block the immune system’s protection against infections and parasites.

Why my immune system suddenly not working?

Some problems with immunity happen without explanation, like adult-onset Agammoglobulinemia when cells just stop making immunoglobulins. It is important to diagnose and treat this condition on time, as it leaves the body completely unprotected toward certain types of bacteria common in the environment.

What is the treatment for immunodeficiency?

Each type of the diseases is different, and will require a correct diagnosis first. Treatment is prescribed to give a person an artificial protection against infections. Some people need antibiotic regimens, while others require monthly injections of the IVIG - intravenous immunoglobulin. Dr Kushnir was trained by the best experts of immunodeficiency at the National Institutes of Health. She knows the best test techniques, and can refer patients to the best specialized centers for specific disorders if disease is confirmed. She also administers in-house IVIG and other biological treatments. She follows all recent scientific literature and attends US and international conferences. Dr Kushnir is an expert on rare diseases and Mast Cell disorders. Please read about tests we do and treatments we offer.    


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Allergist and Immunologist, Integrative medicine