Immunodeficiency is a type of immune system disorder that inhibits your body from properly fighting infections or diseases. Having immunodeficiency can cause frequent infections that are more severe than normal, a slower heal time of infections and diseases, and it can make your body more susceptible to cancer and other deadly diseases. This disorder can be so mild it goes unnoticed for years, but it can also be noticed as soon as the infected baby is born. There are many different types of immunodeficiencies.
Some of the main immunodeficiency disorders-primary immunodeficiencies (PI)-are Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome (WAS), common variable immunodeficiency (CVID), and severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID). All of these types of PI possess things in common, but are also profoundly different from each other. All of these PI negatively affect your T and B lymphocytes. A lymphocyte is a type of small white blood cell. WAS harms the platelets in your blood by reducing them in size and count. If you have WAS, you may experience frequent bacterial, viral, or fungal infections, as well as eczema, and a higher tendency to bleed. The most common symptoms of CVID are recurring ear, sinus, nose, bronchi, and lung infections. If there are repeated infections in the lungs, it may result in a chronic condition called bronchiectasis.
People suffering from CVID may also develop swollen lymph nodes in the chest, neck, or abdomen. If you have CVID you may have a greater risk of cancer. One of the most common symptoms in children with SCID is a high rate of severe infections. However, these infections are not the same types that a child with a healthy immune system would experience. Someone suffering from SCID can develop infections that are serious and sometimes life threatening. Some infections may include meningitis, pneumonia, or infections of the bloodstream. While living with SCID, the person is at a higher risk of developing other infections caused by viruses such as chickenpox (varicella). They may also be affected by vaccines that are not harmful to a healthy immune system.
Sadly, with the widespread use of antibiotics, it has made it harder for doctors to detect SCID in a child. Immunodeficiency can be caused by many factors including drugs, genetic mutations, and other types of disorders.