Current Understanding and Recent Developments in Common Variable Immunodeficiency Associated Autoimmunity

Jessica D. Gereige, Paul J. Maglione

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) is the most prevalent symptomatic primary immunodeficiency and comprises a group of disorders with similar antibody deficiency but a myriad of different etiologies, most of which remain undefined. The variable aspect of CVID refers to the approximately half of patients who develop non-infectious complications in addition to heightened susceptibility to infection. The pathogenesis of these complications is poorly understood and somewhat counterintuitive because these patients that are defined by their immune futility simultaneously have elevated propensity for autoimmune disease. There are numerous aspects of immune dysregulation associated with autoimmunity in CVID that have only begun to be studied. These findings include elevations of T helper type 1 and follicular helper T cells and B cells expressing low levels of CD21 as well as reciprocal decreases in regulatory T cells and isotype-switched memory B cells. Recently, advances in genomics have furthered our understanding of the fundamental biology underlying autoimmunity in CVID and led to precision therapeutic approaches. However, these genetic etiologies are also associated with clinical heterogeneity and incomplete penetrance, highlighting the fact that continued research efforts remain necessary to optimize treatment. Additional factors, such as commensal microbial dysbiosis, remain to be better elucidated. Thus, while recent advances in our understanding of CVID-associated autoimmunity have been exciting and substantial, these current scientific advances must now serve as building blocks for the next stages of discovery.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2753
JournalFrontiers in Immunology
StatePublished - 10 Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • autoimmunity
  • common variable immunodeficiency
  • cytopenia
  • genetics
  • microbiome
  • precision therapy
  • primary immunodeficieny


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