Immunodeficiency conditions present with recurrent infections. The severity and the frequency of these infections generally reflects the severity of the underlying immunodeficiency condition.
Most immunodeficiencies are mild; however; there are immunodeficiency conditions that are severe and present with severe infections such as recurrent pneumonia and meningitis. The most common immunodeficiency condition is IgA deficiency. Recurrent respiratory infections are associated with this deficiency. Blood tests which assess immunoglobulin levels, specific antibody levels, specific lymphocyte counts and other immune function will diagnose immunodeficiency conditions. Blood tests can also determine which part of the immune system is affected. In additon, an evaluation for the presence allergy is typically useful since allergic conditions are often associated with recurrent less severe infections. Allergy is most commonly diagnosed by allergy skin testing and ImmunoCAP IgE blood testing when indicated.
Once an immunodeficiency condition is diagnosed, treatment will help to boost the deficient portion of the immune system to better fight infection. The most common therapies include vaccination with Pneumovax and Intravenous Immunoglobulin; however others are available.