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IgA deficiency

IgA deficiency Causes

IgA deficiency is genetic, which means it's passed down through families. It may be passed on as an autosomal dominant or autosomal recessive trait. It is found in approximately 1 in 700 individuals of European descent. It is less commonly found in people of other ethnicities.

IgA deficiency Definition

One of the most prevalent immune deficiency disorders, IgA deficiency is defined as low blood serum levels of a special type of protein called immunoglobulin A (IgA). This deficiency hinders function of the immune system. People with this deficiency lack immunoglobulin A (IgA), a type of antibody that protects against infections of the mucous membranes that line the mouth, airways, and digestive tract. It is described as an undetectable serum IgA level in the presence of normal serum levels of IgG and IgM.

IgA deficiency Diagnosis

The family may have a history of IgA deficiency. Tests that may be done include serum immunoelectrophoresis and quantitative immunoglobulins (serum IgA extremely low or absent).

IgA deficiency Symptoms and Signs

Persons with this condition usually have chronic diarrhea caused by intestinal infections. There are often frequent sinus, ear, and lung infections. Other symptoms include mouth infections and asthma or bronchiectasis of unexplained causes.

IgA deficiency Treatment

There are no specific treatments available. Some people slowly develop normal levels of IgA without treatment. Individual infections should be treated with the necessary antibiotics. In some cases, longer courses of antibiotics may be needed to stop recurring infection. The treament of autoimmune disease is based on the specific problem.

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