Evaluation of the relevance of humoral immunodeficiencies in a pediatric population affected by recurrent infections

Andrea Finocchi, Federica Angelini, Loredana Chini, Silvia Di Cesare, Caterina Cancrini, Paolo Rossi, Viviana Moschese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recurrent infections are a common cause of morbidity in childhood. Several reports have associated this condition to low levels of IgA and IgG subclasses and/or lack of specific antipolysaccharide antibody response, although the relevance of these defects in terms of prognosis and therapeutic approach is still unclear. The aim of our study was to determine the frequency and the clinical relevance of humoral immunodeficiency (HID) other than hypogammaglobulinemia in children affected by recurrent infections. We recruited 67 pediatric patients affected by recurrent infections. Serum IgG, IgA, IgM, IgG2, IgG3, and specific anti-Haemophilus influenzae (anti-Hib) antibodies were determined. Thirty-seven out of 67 patients showed antibody defects (55%). IgA deficiency was observed in 21 out of 67 patients (31%), followed by IgG2 (18%), IgG3 (15%) and IgM (6%) defects. Anti-Hib deficiency was present in three out of 44 patients (7%). A tendency for a higher occurrence of pneumonia and otitis, although not statistically significant (p > 0.05), was observed in HID patients compared to children with normal humoral function. No statistical difference as to the frequency of mild infections (URI) was found between HID and non-HID patients. We therefore suggest that the therapeutic program is based on the clinical status of the patients. Long-term follow-up with repeated determinations of antibody levels is crucial, however, to detect those defects that might evolve into more complex immunodeficiencies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-447
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric Allergy and Immunology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2002


  • Functional antibodies
  • IgG subclasses
  • Immunoglobulin isotype
  • Recurrent infections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'Evaluation of the relevance of humoral immunodeficiencies in a pediatric population affected by recurrent infections'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this