There are over 300 different conditions that make up Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases (PIDDs). Most of the conditions are related to your genetic makeup and are inherited, but they can show up at any time: birth, childhood, or even adulthood. PIDDs are rare and affect approximately 1 out of every 500 people.
PIDDs are usually associated with recurrent and severe bacterial infections and many times these infections are difficult to treat. Warning signs of PIDD include recurrent ear infections in the last year (4 or more for children and 2 or more for adults), two or more serious sinus infections within one year, two or more months of using antibiotics without much benefit, multiple episodes of pneumonias, chronic diarrhea with weight loss, recurrent viral infections in adults (such as colds, herpes, warts, etc), recurrent deep skin abscesses or boils, need for IV antibiotics to clear infections, infections with normally harmless bacteria, persistent thrush or fungal infection, multiple episodes of sepsis (blood infections), or family history of PIDD.
It is important to first rule out other conditions that could contribute to recurrent infections such as uncontrolled allergies, chronic sinus disease, enlarged tonsils and adenoids, or cystic fibrosis. If there is still concern for PIDD, your provider at AAAI can obtain laboratory studies (blood work) to check your immune system and further evaluate if there is evidence of an immune problem. It is important to note that PIDDs are not the same as auto-immune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, which are conditions that can only be diagnosed and treated by a rheumatologist.