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IGA deficiency and allergies

22 replies [Last post]
By momma2boys on Wed, 07-09-03, 01:50

I got a call from my allergist about bloodwork he had run on my non PA 7 yr old ds. He said he had tested his IGA level and the normal range is from 41-368. The lowest level the test can detect is 14. My ds was below 14. Which means it is either under 14 or non existent.

This explains alot of things about his medical history and apparently has a big involvement with allergies, food allergies, and asthma.

Just wondering if anyone elses kids have this or if you have any information to share about it.

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By river on Wed, 07-09-03, 17:36

momma2boys, I've never heard of this before but I looked it up. Apparently it's quite common and many people don't know that they even have this condition.

Anyone whose allergic child is sick a lot, should look into this. I found this pamphlet on the web with information:


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By synthia on Wed, 07-09-03, 19:44


As I have said before you are a asset(did I
spell that right?) to this site.

Very good Information.
Thank you
Love this site
edited to correct spelling

[This message has been edited by synthia (edited July 09, 2003).]

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By momma2boys on Wed, 07-09-03, 19:49

River, thanks so much for looking it up. I had looked up some info but didnt find that pamphlet.

I agree that others may want to look into this and it is especially important to know about if your child ever needs a blood transfusion.

It makes alot of sense now why so many sinus inf., ear inf. and pneumonia. Also there were times when he needed several courses of antibiotics to get rid of an infection.

It also has a link to food allergies which I thought interesting.


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By momma2boys on Thu, 07-10-03, 15:31

another thought..... how would this affect being able to take Xolair or the other drugs that will affect immune response?? That may affect many people with PA if it does.

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By joeybeth on Thu, 07-10-03, 21:37

how timely...the best friend of the girl who colored my hair last night has this same problem. she supposedly developed it after being given too much of some sort of medication as an infant??? she apparently is sick more often than what would be considered normal and has to stay away from sick people. the medicine was something she was given for seizure disorder at the time of her birth. i had never heard of this before last night.


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By Going Nuts on Thu, 07-10-03, 23:22

My elder son's best friend has this as well, but I've never seen it described in this detail.


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By ajinnj on Fri, 07-11-03, 02:56

My little brother had an IGA deficiency when he was an infant but his immune system seemed to develop more as he got older. Have you seen an immunologist yet? Have you researched gamma gobulin transfusions?


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By momma2boys on Fri, 07-11-03, 16:47

We havent been to an immunologist yet. I was told by the allergist that the shots would do no good and that was also stated in the pamphlet river linked. His overall IGG was high though.

Before you started the xolair trial did they do a full immune system workup?

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By ajinnj on Fri, 07-11-03, 17:12

i found a few links for you:

i would definitely see an immunologist b/c they are much more knowledgable in that area than allergists. b/c i'm in the trials, i was not told what blood work is done but i would assume that a full immunology panel is done. i really don't know if/ how an immunodeficiency will effect your son's eligibility for anti-IGE. i don't think there have been any specific studies on the effect of anti-IGE in people will with low IGA. i feel like this is beginning to sound like alphabet soup. an immunologist may be able to help you with your question.


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By momma2boys on Tue, 01-20-04, 14:46

raising for synthia

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By synthia on Fri, 01-23-04, 21:48


Can someone link the other thread to this one?

Love this site

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By Naer74 on Fri, 01-23-04, 22:01

My non-PA son (18 months) also has IGA deficiency and IGG deficiency.

The amazing thing is that he has been quite healthy. He has NEVER had an ear infection, bronchitis, pneumonia, or even a runny, gunky nasal discharge.

We are currently seeing an immunologist and are to return in six months. He told me he has never seen a child with these low levels be so healthy.

He does have other problems. He is developmentally delayed and speech delayed also. He is very small for his age too.

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By synthia on Sat, 08-27-05, 13:44

Just received the report on IGA

Range is 27-195

dd is 13 [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

edited to correct the link

Love this site

[This message has been edited by synthia (edited August 27, 2005).]

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By MommaBear on Sat, 09-10-05, 17:24

reraising by request.

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By Sarahfran on Sat, 09-10-05, 19:56

Synthia, sorry I missed when you posted about your DD's IgA testing results. What did the doctor say about it? I know with my DS, his immune system disorder is genetic so there's no hope of it improving, but from what I've heard from people on the Yahoo group for primary immune deficiencies, a lot of kids with deficiencies will eventually improve and get their levels within a normal range. From our experience, the IgG, even though more dangerous, has become less of a problem because he can get gammaglobulin to replace what he's missing, but the IgA deficiency is just there to stay and they can't do anything to improve it, so now he gets colds that last *forever* (we get hit for a week to ten days, he gets hit for two months) and has constant diarrhea because of the lack of IgA in his intestinal tract.

Let us know how your DD is doing!


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By starlight on Sat, 09-10-05, 23:10

Sarahfran, I'm surprised your son's IGA deficiency can't be outgrown. I was only at a 5 or 6 and I outgrew it by the time I was 13 and now I rarely get sick. But I do remember the days when I had it, if I didn't get antibotics when I had a cold I'd end up with pneumonia. Those shots are NOT fun.

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By synthia on Sun, 09-11-05, 01:15

Thanks MommaBear,Sarahfran!

Love this site

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By Sarahfran on Sun, 09-11-05, 01:30

Starlight, Connor has something called Hyper IgM Syndrome--it's actually a deficiency of the DC40 ligand protein on the surface of his T-lymphocytes. Because of this, his T-lymphocytes can't instruct his B-lymphocytes to switch production of IgM (the first responder in an attack on the immune system) to IgA or IgG, so he has elevated IgM and nonexistent IgA and IgG. Because it's genetic and affects his immune system functioning from the get-go, it's not going to get better. The most common primary immune deficiency is selective IgA deficiency, which is probably what you had/have--it varies in severity and people often improve over time as their immune system functioning strengthens.


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By starlight on Sat, 09-24-05, 22:25

reraising for darkmage.

Also, I didn't see your reply Sarahfran. Thanks for clearing that up for me, I had no idea that could even happen. The poor thing [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] I guess the plus side of the deficiency is you get to miss school a lot, always a plus for us who hate school [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By synthia on Tue, 10-18-05, 15:59


Love this site

[This message has been edited by synthia (edited October 22, 2005).]

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By synthia on Mon, 10-31-05, 23:21


One Gene Linked To Two Immune Disorders
Defects in a single gene can result in two immune system disorders that leave affected individuals vulnerable to frequent or unusually severe infections, according to new findings reported in the August issue of Nature Genetics. The discovery may lead to new diagnostic tests for these two inherited conditions-immunoglobulin A (IgA) deficiency and common variable immunodeficiency (CVID). Currently, doctors diagnose the conditions by measuring immunoglobulin levels and excluding other causes for lowered immunoglobulin levels; there are no specific tests to detect the two disorders.

A deficiency of IgA-an important type of infection-fighting antibody found in tears, saliva and other secretions-affects one in 600 people in the western world; CVID is less common but more severe. Both conditions result in a person being more susceptible to pneumonia and to recurring infections of the ear, sinus and gastrointestinal tract. People with CVID also have an increased risk of developing cancers that affect B cells, cells that produce antibodies. Furthermore, IgA deficiency and CVID can predispose people to autoimmune diseases, where the immune system turns against the body's own tissues and organs.

"Most cases of CVID and IgA deficiency are of unknown cause," noted Josiah Wedgwood, MD, PhD, of the Clinical Immunology Branch of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which funded the study. "To find a specific molecular defect that is the apparent cause of illness in a substantial subset of individuals with these two diseases is extremely important. Not only will this finding enable us to better diagnose these patients, it provides clues to key biochemical pathways that can lead to immunodeficiencies."

The study was led by Dr. Raif Geha and Emanuela Castigli, PhD, of the Children's Hospital Boston. The Boston team found specific mutations in a gene known as TACI, which plays a specific role in orchestrating the immune response. Defects in TACI were found in four of 19 unrelated patients with CVID and in one of 16 unrelated patients with IgA deficiency. None of 50 healthy people they studied had a TACI mutation. The scientists believe that it is likely that as yet unidentified genetic defects underlie CVID and IgA deficiency in those cases where TACI was not mutated.

When the scientists further examined four of the five individuals with TACI mutations, they found all four had relatives with the same mutations. Eleven of the 12 identified relatives with CVID or IgA deficiency reported a history of recurrent infections and were also found to have low levels of IgA and/or low levels of another type of antibody, immunoglobulin G (IgG).

TACI mutations interfere with two aspects of the immune response that involve maturation of B cells. Normally, TACI triggers B cells to switch from making immunoglobulin M (IgM), an antibody produced early in the immune response, to making other antibodies such as IgA and IgG. More important, TACI signals B cells to produce antibodies against specific invading bacteria and viruses.

Because TACI mutations are genetically dominant, a person with TACI mutations in one of the two TACI genes he or she inherits is unable to mount a strong antibody response. Each child of a person so affected has a 50 per cent chance of inheriting the mutation and being predisposed to IgA deficiency and CVID.

"A test for TACI defects would enable the diagnosis of more children and their relatives with these immune deficiencies," said Dr. Geha, senior author of the study and the James Gamble Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. "Many children who are sick with these disorders are now missed, because they can have normal IgA and IgG levels, yet they still have poor antibody responses and get the same bacterial and virus infections again and again."

But the gene discovery will not immediately change treatment strategies, noted Dr. Geha. "For the time being, therapy still consists of prophylactic antibiotics or intravenous immunoglobulin infusions every three weeks," he said.

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By Naer74 on Wed, 11-02-05, 13:39

This is an interesting article. As I mentioned before my youngest son has very low immunogloblun levels. His immunologist mentioned that he may have hypogammaglobulinemia...no clue what this is.

His levels were:
IgA - <6.7 (normal 50-350)
IgM - 80 (normal 45-150)
IgG - 332 (normal 800-1500)

Amazingly, he has been extremely healthy. He is even in preschool and just seems to have the normal cold occasionally. The doctor is really impressed and amazed that he isn't sick often and in the hospital frequently.

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