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Immune deficiencies in children: an overview
  1. S Jyothi1,
  2. S Lissauer2,3,
  3. S Welch3,
  4. S Hackett3
  1. 1Department of Emergency Medicine, Birmingham Childrens Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK
  2. 2School of Immunity and Infection, College of Medical and Dental Sciences, Institute for Biomedical Research, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
  3. 3Department of Paediatric Infectious Disease and Immunology, Birmingham Heartlands Hospital, Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Srinivas Jyothi, Emergency Department, Birmingham Childrens Hospital, Steelhouse Lane, Birmingham B4 6NH, UK; jyothiee{at}


Primary immune deficiencies (PIDs) are disorders of the immune system that result in increased susceptibility to infectious disease, autoimmunity and malignancy. They are challenging to paediatricians as they can present anytime from birth to adolescence with a wide variety of signs and symptoms. It is important to diagnose PIDs promptly, especially more severe forms to prevent significant morbidity and mortality. However, significant challenges exist in deciding which children to investigate and when. We aim to give a basic understanding of the human immune system, the different presentations in a child that should alert a paediatrician about the possibility of PID and the possible underlying diagnosis. Additionally, we have developed a framework for a stepwise approach to investigating these children.

  • Immunology
  • Paediatric Practice

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