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Primary and Secondary Immunodeficiency

Immunodeficiency disorders cause the immune system to fail completely or partially. Secondary immunodeficiencies are caused by environmental causes such as HIV/AIDS or starvation, while primary immunodeficiencies are caused by genetic abnormalities. Primary immunodeficiency (PI) is characterised by a malfunctioning immune system. This means that people with PI are more likely to contract infections and become seriously ill as a result of them. There are around 400 different forms of PI, each with a different severity level that influences how early they are discovered. When the immune system is weakened as a result of an environmental cause, secondary immune deficiency illness develops. HIV, chemotherapy, severe burns, and malnutrition are examples of external influences. Primary immunodeficiencies are uncommon, but they can be deadly, and a PID diagnosis can change the lives of both the young child and their families. Although contemporary treatments help to manage the illness, patients may still be vulnerable to severe, recurrent infections. Novel medicines, such as gene therapy, provide the possibility of correcting the defective gene responsible and allowing these children to live a normal life. Gene therapy is now available for a limited number of immunodeficiency disorders, but with additional study, it is believed that it will be available to a larger number of patients in the coming years.

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