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J Bras Pneumol. 2009 Oct;35(10):1008-17.

Primary immunodeficiency diseases: relevant aspects for pulmonologists.

[Article in English, Portuguese]

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  • 1University of São Paulo at Ribeirão Preto School of Medicine, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil.


Primary immunodeficiency diseases comprise a genetically heterogeneous group of disorders that affect distinct components of the innate and adaptive immune system, such as neutrophils, macrophages, dendritic cells, complement proteins and natural killer cells, as well as T and B lymphocytes. The study of these diseases has provided essential insights into the functioning of the immune system. Primary immunodeficiency diseases have been linked to over 120 different genes, abnormalities in which account for approximately 180 different forms of these diseases. Patients with primary immunodeficiency diseases are most often recognized because of their increased susceptibility to infections. However, these patients can also present with a variety of other manifestations, such as autoimmune diseases, inflammatory diseases and cancer. The purpose of this article is to update the main aspects of primary immunodeficiency diseases, especially regarding the clinical manifestations related to the diagnosis, emphasizing the need for the early recognition of warning signs for these diseases.

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