Advances and Challenges of the Decade: The Ever-Changing Clinical and Genetic Landscape of Immunodeficiency

Jolan E. Walter, John B. Ziegler, Mark Ballow, Charlotte Cunningham-Rundles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the past 10 years, we have witnessed major advances in clinical immunology. Newborn screening for severe combined immunodeficiency has become universal in the United States and screening programs are being extended to severe combined immunodeficiency and other inborn errors of immunity globally. Early genetic testing is becoming the norm for many of our patients and allows for informed selection of targeted therapies including biologics repurposed from other specialties. During the COVID-19 pandemic, our understanding of essential immune responses expanded and the discovery of immune gene defects continued. Immunoglobulin products, the backbone of protection for antibody deficiency syndromes, came into use to minimize side effects. New polyclonal and monoclonal antibody products emerged with increasing options to manage respiratory viral agents such as SARS-CoV-2 and respiratory syncytial virus. Against these advances, we still face major challenges. Atypical is becoming typical as phenotypes of distinct genetic disease overlap whereas the clinical spectrum of the same genetic defect widens. Therefore, clinical judgment needs to be paired with repeated deep immune phenotyping and upfront genetic testing, as technologies rapidly evolve, and clinical disease often progresses with age. Managing patients with organ damage resulting from immune dysregulation poses a special major clinical challenge and management often lacks standardization, from autoimmune cytopenias, granulomatous interstitial lung disease, enteropathy, and liver disease to endocrine, rheumatologic, and neurologic complications. Clinical, translational, and basic science networks will continue to advance the field; however, cross-talk and education with practicing allergists/immunologists are essential to keep up with the ever-changing clinical and genetic landscape of inborn errors of immunity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-115
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • Immune dysregulation
  • Immunoglobulin
  • Inborn error of immunity
  • Newborn screening
  • Severe combined immunodeficiency


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