October 28th, 2010
03:21 PM ET

How serious is selective IgA deficiency?

As a feature of CNNhealth.com, our team of expert doctors will answer readers' questions. Here's a question for Dr. Gupta.

From Indu, Waukesha, Wisconsin

"My 3-year-old daughter has been diagnosed with selective IgA deficiency. I am really worried. Can you please tell me what is this? What are her risk factors and will she live a normal life? Since three months she has had recurrent sinusitis infections and her blood test showed this deficiency ( IgA =6), No one in our family has this and both my husband and I are quite healthy. What are her options, treatment and any latest information/research in this field?"


Indu, Thank you for your question. I know, as a parent, that it can be scary when the doctor tells you that something isn’t quite normal with your child, and you want to understand what may be wrong.

The immune system protects us from harmful substances—called antigens—which include bacteria, viruses, toxins, fungus, cancer cells, and allergens. When the body senses the presence of an antigen, it fights it with antibodies, which attach to the foreign substance and help the immune system to destroy them. When the immune system doesn’t produce enough antibodies to fight the antigens it’s called an immunodeficiency disorder.

You indicated that your daughter has experienced recurrent sinus infections since she was 3 months old, which is probably why her physician tested her immunity levels —to find out why she might not be fighting off her recurring  infections. The immunoglobulin test is a tool that medical professionals can use to help diagnose when the immune system isn’t working properly. People can be born with immunodeficiencies or acquire them through illness or as a side effect of medications. When a child has frequent or unusual infections, doctors may suspect an immunodeficiency.

Our bodies produce five types of antibodies including IgA, which is found in mucous membranes, IgG which is found in all body fluids and fights bacterial and viral infections, IgM, found in blood and lymph fluid and is the first line of defense fighting new infections, IgE, which fights allergic reactions, and IgD which is found in the blood and whose function is still uncertain to immunologists. IgA, IgG and IgM are often measured together because they can give useful information about how the immune system is functioning toward infection or autoimmune diseases.

Selective deficiency of IgA is the most common immune disorder and is less harmful than other disorders, according to information from the National Institutes of Health. People with this condition have low or deficient levels of immunoglobulin A, the antibody that protects the body and is found in high concentrations in mucous membranes in the respiratory passages, gastrointestinal tract, as well as in tears and saliva.

Emory University pediatric allergist Dr. Karen DeMuth said “I would never diagnose a child that age with selective deficiency of IgA,” explaining that more information is needed about her case, and adding that children's immune systems are not fully developed at her age. DeMuth strongly advises that your daughter have a consultation with an immunologist, and she notes that the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology is an excellent resource for finding a specialist, as well as for information.

While no specific treatment is available for selective deficiency of IgA, it’s important to treat any bacterial infections with antibiotics to prevent them from recurring. If a specialist agrees that your daughter has the disorder, it’s important to know that sometimes this condition will disappear without treatment, and your medical professional is likely to recommend retesting your daughter to see if the deficiency resolves over time.

soundoff (1,378 Responses)
  1. Digital Marketing Business

    http://e-akademi.org/incele.asp?konu=The calculation of damages according to article 41 of the European Convention on Human Rights&kimlik=796475330&url=http://affordableranking.com

    May 25, 2021 at 15:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Social Media Marketing Companies


    May 25, 2021 at 16:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Internet Marketing Firm Near Me


    May 25, 2021 at 17:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Internet Marketing Firms

    Having read this I thought it was really informative. I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this informative article together. I once again find myself spending a lot of time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worthwhile!


    May 25, 2021 at 17:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. MileSwa

    cialis quebec dollars canadien https://ckacialis.com/ – cialis tablets in australia purchase generic cialis

    May 25, 2021 at 19:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Internet Marketing Service

    This is a great tip particularly to those new to the blogosphere. Simple but very precise info… Many thanks for sharing this one. A must read article!


    May 25, 2021 at 19:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Digital Marketing Agency Near Me

    When I originally left a comment I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I receive 4 emails with the same comment. Is there a way you are able to remove me from that service? Appreciate it!


    May 25, 2021 at 19:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Content Marketing Experts


    May 25, 2021 at 20:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Internet Marketing Agencies Near Me

    I love it whenever people come together and share ideas. Great site, continue the good work!


    May 25, 2021 at 20:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. travel trailer floor repair videos

    I was pretty pleased to discover this page. I wanted to thank you for your time for this fantastic read!! I definitely really liked every little bit of it and i also have you saved as a favorite to look at new stuff on your blog.


    May 26, 2021 at 01:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. truck roof repair


    May 26, 2021 at 01:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. rv parts riverside ca


    May 26, 2021 at 02:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. oc ac repair


    May 26, 2021 at 03:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. RV Refrigerator Los Angeles


    May 26, 2021 at 03:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. RV Camera Los Angeles

    I like it when folks come together and share views. Great site, continue the good work!


    May 26, 2021 at 04:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. RV Dashboard Orange County

    Having read this I believed it was rather enlightening. I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this information together. I once again find myself personally spending way too much time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worth it!


    May 26, 2021 at 05:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. video ka

    Good post. I learn something new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon every day. It's always helpful to read through articles from other writers and use something from their sites.


    May 26, 2021 at 05:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. toyhauler furniture


    May 26, 2021 at 06:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. EncoxHtf

    cialis delayed ejaculation https://cialishav.com/ – cialis canada and paypal cialis lowers blood pressure

    May 26, 2021 at 07:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. rv upholstery near me


    May 26, 2021 at 07:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. rv repair and service near me

    I love it when people get together and share views. Great website, keep it up!


    May 26, 2021 at 07:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. RV Tires Riverside


    May 26, 2021 at 07:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. RV Shades California


    May 26, 2021 at 07:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. rv storage orange ca

    Very good post. I'm facing some of these issues as well..


    May 26, 2021 at 09:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. avana

    avanafil stendra dosage avana tabs

    May 26, 2021 at 13:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Sprinter By Keystone Slide Repair


    May 26, 2021 at 14:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. motorhome repair shops near me


    May 26, 2021 at 15:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. rv plumbing


    May 26, 2021 at 16:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. how to repair rv plumbing

    I love reading a post that can make men and women think. Also, thanks for allowing me to comment!


    May 26, 2021 at 16:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. RV Slide Out Los Angeles


    May 26, 2021 at 17:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. RV Driver Seats California

    I love looking through an article that will make men and women think. Also, thanks for allowing me to comment!


    May 26, 2021 at 18:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. RV Remodel Near Me

    Your style is really unique compared to other people I have read stuff from. Thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I'll just book mark this page.


    May 26, 2021 at 18:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. motorhome body repair

    Good post. I am going through a few of these issues as well..


    May 26, 2021 at 19:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. fiberglass company near me

    Next time I read a blog, I hope that it won't fail me just as much as this particular one. After all, Yes, it was my choice to read through, however I actually thought you would probably have something interesting to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of moaning about something you could possibly fix if you were not too busy looking for attention.


    May 26, 2021 at 19:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Mercedes Sprinter Sliding Door Track Repair


    May 26, 2021 at 20:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. truck and trailer repair shops near me

    When I initially commented I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get 4 emails with the exact same comment. Perhaps there is a means you can remove me from that service? Cheers!


    May 26, 2021 at 21:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. RV Upholstery Near Me


    May 26, 2021 at 21:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. RV Fiberglass Orange County

    I like looking through an article that will make people think. Also, many thanks for allowing for me to comment!


    May 26, 2021 at 21:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Ecu Repair 2017 Mercedes Sprinter Van Remove Speed Limiter


    May 26, 2021 at 23:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. RV Furniture Los Angeles


    May 27, 2021 at 01:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Clotilde Buyck


    May 27, 2021 at 02:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. RV Washing Near Me

    Good info. Lucky me I recently found your site by chance (stumbleupon). I have saved as a favorite for later!


    May 27, 2021 at 02:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. tow truck repair shop

    This web site definitely has all the info I needed about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.


    May 27, 2021 at 03:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. mobile rv repair orange county ca

    Great site you've got here.. It’s hard to find high-quality writing like yours these days. I seriously appreciate people like you! Take care!!


    May 27, 2021 at 04:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. RV Collision Repair Riverside


    May 27, 2021 at 06:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. c and o body shop


    May 27, 2021 at 07:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. orange county tire


    May 27, 2021 at 09:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Andrea Debruce

    Everyone loves it when people come together and share opinions. Great blog, stick with it!


    May 27, 2021 at 10:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Social Media Marketing Company Near Me

    Excellent site you have got here.. Itís hard to find high quality writing like yours these days. I really appreciate people like you! Take care!!


    May 27, 2021 at 11:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. RV Sound System California

    I have to thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this website. I really hope to view the same high-grade content from you later on as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my own, personal blog now 😉


    May 27, 2021 at 11:50 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28

Leave a Reply to RV Roof Repair Near Me


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.