Immunoglobulin A Deficiency

Ig A deficiency is frequently associated with normal B lymphocytes in blood. Anti-IgA antibodies may also be present. Peripheral blood can be influenced by autoimmune cytopenia.

Conditions are associated in some patients with deficiency of Ig A include one or more IgG deficiency and immunoglobulin deficiency in pneumococcal immunization.

Primary IgA deficiency is permanent and below normal levels remained the same long time. External factors such as medications and contaminations can provoke this disorder, but it is reversible in the majority of cases.

The disease is more common in adults with chronic lung disease.

Ig A deficiency has no specific therapy. Substitution therapy is not pliable for Ig A deficiency due to the short duration of life of Ig A in immunoglobulin preparations on the market. Antibiotic therapy is the first therapy option, especially for respiratory and gastrointestinal viruses. Immunization with pneumococcal vaccine is important, though not all patients can sustain an immune response. Prophylactic administration of shots of immunoglobulin in patients with Ig A deficiency is beneficial.

IgA deficiency complications include: pulmonary recurrent infections, chronic diarrhea, and severe obits with hearing loss, malabsorption syndrome, growth retardation and secondary chronic infection.

In children, the disease can be transient and resolve permanently up to five years, in others the disease can progress. Adults with IgA deficiency can have no symptoms, yet most patients had repeated bacterial respiratory viruses.

The cause of this disease remains unknown. Heredity reasons were observed in 25 percent of impacted individuals, suggesting a strong genetic influence. In some families, it may skip a generation.

Signs and symptoms

Patients who have upper respiratory viruses (influenza, pneumonia) should be tested for IgA deficiency.

Most of the patients do not present symptoms. However, recent studies show that 80% of individuals with IgA deficiency develop symptoms late in life.

Complications of IgA deficiency include:

-severe anaphylactic shock produced by blood

-Bronchitis, repeated pulmonary viruses

-Chronic diarrhea and malabsorption,

-Severe obits with hearing loss


-Almost all patients with IgA deficiency show loss of secretor IgA type 1 and 2 in external secretions

Medical therapy

There is no specific therapy for IgA deficiency. Replacement therapy is not practical because chemical drugs containing IgA have a short life.

Prophylaxis with immunoglobulin G was contraindicated in patients with IgA deficiency because of the risk of important systemic second reactions or development of anti-IgA antibodies.

Surgical therapy

Some patients may require surgery to promote eliminate the infection.

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