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About PID

PID is a genetic defect of the immune system that is inherited (carried through genes). The most common problem in PID is an increased susceptibility to infections. Each one of us should know the following facts about PID

  • PID can affect a single cell type or several components of the immune system, resulting in an immune system that does not function properly.

  •  For people with PID infections may be common, severe, recurring, persistent, chronic or hard to cure. They tend to require prolonged recovery and may respond poorly to a conventional course of antibiotics.  

  • At times PIDs appear as common infections and are often overlooked as common childhood illnesses like sinus and ear infections, pneumonia, fever and bronchitis. PID can also cause gastrointestinal problems or inflammation of joints. 

  • PID can affect males and females of all ages. But the more severe forms of PID are often discovered in childhood, many going undiagnosed until adulthood. 

  • Because of the genetic nature of PID, some patients may be the first in their families to be affected and therefore, have no known family history. 

  • One in every 1000 is affected by PID, but as such it goes undiagnosed in India because families and doctors treat the symptoms rather than diagnosing the underlying cause.

  • Early diagnosis and treatment of PID can prevent permanent organ damage or life threatening complications. 

  • More than 120 PIDS have been defined by the World Health organization (WHO) & International Immunological Societies (IUIS). The most common ones are antibody deficiencies such as Common Variable Immunodeficiency (CVID) or X-linked Agammaglobulinemia (XLA). 

  • PID is very different from Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and they should not be confused with each other. Although both involve the immune system, PID is Genetic or “built into” a person’s body by their genes & is therefore not infectious. AIDS on the other hand is acquired by becoming infected with the HIV virus.

  • As such we do not have any vital statistics of patients with PID in India. Till very recently, no child in India with major immunodeficiency disorder was able to survive infancy or early childhood. This is the first time in Indian history that our PID children have reached adulthood.

  • Because of advances in our medical research and treatment of PID, many patients who in the past would not have survived childhood are now able to live nearly normal lives. Most PID patients require life long therapies including Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG) infusion, aggressive antibiotic therapies, or bone marrow transplantation (BMT)

Pre Natal Diagnosis

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Important Precautions

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Types of PID

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