Low IgA in Children
The most common immunodeficiency disorder in children is IgA deficiency. About 1 in 900 children and adults suffer from this disorder. This primary immune deficiency disorder, is more prevalent in Europeans than people of other origin.
IgA is immunoglobulin A; it is an antibody which protects our body from various infections, especially upper and lower respiratory tract infections, gastrointestinal infections and infections of tonsils and the linings of the mucous membrane. Deficiency of IgA in children will result into recurrent infections of these diseases.
Causes of IgA Deficiency
IgA deficiency is a genetic disorder where the white blood cells called B lymphocytes are at fault.In this condition the patient may have normal number of B lymphocytes, but the development is arrested thus giving rise to IgA deficiency. The exact cause for these immature B lymphocytes is not known. The hereditary aspect is also under research.
Certain medications are also known to cause selective IgA deficiency in children. Phenytoin, carbamazepine, sulfasalazine, NSAIDs etc. when the medication is discontinued the condition gets resolved.
Selective IgA Deficiency in Kids Symptoms
Many children and adults may remain asymptomatic. Clinically the main features include.
- Recurrent respiratory and sinusitis infection in almost 50% of the patients.
- Diarrhea, malabsorption, giardiasis, lactose deficiency, gluten sensitivity.
- Autoimmune disorders such as Hasimoto thyroiditis, purpura, chronic nephritis, juvenile arthritis, SLE, pernicious anemia.
- Severe reaction to transfusion of blood.
Treatment of IgA Deficiency in Children
There is no specific treatment for selective IgA deficiency, persons are treated with antibiotics. Some children who fall sick during certain seasons, doctors recommend prophylactic antibiotics for them, it is especially during the winter when the respiratory infection is often the cause.
Children with selective IgA deficiency should be immunized annually with influenza vaccine. Other vaccines should be taken as per the normal immunization schedule.