SELECTIVE IgA DEFICIENCY
Dr Ira Shah
Consultant Pediatrician, Nanavati Hospital and B.J.Wadia Hospital for Children, Mumbai
Editor - Pediatric Oncall
What is selective IgA deficiency?
Selective IgA deficiency is a primary immunodeficiency in which IgA immunoglobulin is deficient in the blood and in the respiratory and intestinal tracts. IgA antibodies predominantly protect us from respiratory infections and diarrhea.
What is the cause of selective IgA deficiency?
The cause of selective IgA deficiency is not known.
What are the symptoms of selective IgA deficiency?
Most patients with selective IgA deficiency have no symptoms. Some people have a similar course as those patients with common variable immunodeficiency (CVID). Some patients may have recurrent ear infections, sinusitis, bronchitis, pneumonia and recurrent diarrhea. About 25% - 33% of patients with selective IgA deficiency may develop autoimmune diseases such as Rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosis (SLE) and immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP). Thus, these patients may get arthritis or low blood counts. Allergies are also common in individuals with selective IgA deficiency and asthma, food allergy, anaphylaxis is commonly seen.
How common is selective IgA deficiency?
Selective IgA deficiency is the commonest primary immunodeficiency. It is estimated that 1 in 500 people have selective IgA deficiency.
How is the diagnosis of selective IgA deficiency made?
Absence of IgA immunoglobulin with normal levels of other immunoglobulins establishes the diagnosis of selective IgA deficiency.
What is the treatment of selective IgA deficiency?
There is no IgA replacement therapy currently. Treatment is directed towards management of the specific problem that the patient is suffering from.
Last updated on 26-3-2011