Immunodeficiency and the GI tract

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter discusses the background, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of immunodeficiency and the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The GI tract, arguably the largest lymphoid organ in the body, is exposed to a myriad of antigenic challenges. GI manifestations are associated with mucosal or systemic immunodeficiency states. Immunodeficiency states with relevant GI manifestations can be classified as: primary and secondary. Both primary and acquired systemic immunodeficiency result in significant intestinal immunopathology. Nutritional deficiencies are easily prevented by nutritional guidelines including balanced meals, food fortification, and vitamin supplementation. Acquired immunodeficiency is suspected in adults with opportunistic infections such as Cryptosporidium, Isospora, Pneumocystis carinii, unexplained weight loss, diarrhea, failure to thrive, or lymphadenopathy. Prognosis depends on the cause of immunodeficiency. Prognosis of common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) is significantly improved since the advent of immunoglobulin therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGastroenterology
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781118932759
ISBN (Print)9781118519967
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Common variable immunodeficiency (CVID)
  • Food fortification
  • Gastrointestinal (GI) tract
  • Intestinal immunopathology
  • Pneumocystis carinii
  • Vitamin supplementation


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