IgA deficiency is a common immunodeficiency disorder in which the absence of a single immunoglobulin can be related to a number of disease states. Since secretory IgA has a major role in preventing antigens from mucosal invasion and systemic absorption, it is not surprising that diseases of the mucosal surfaces are the hallmarks of IgA deficiency. Although respiratory tract infections are common, this article focuses on GI diseases and immunologic perturbations in this area. There is also a prevalence of autoimmune diseases in IgA deficiency; the connection between these illnesses and a lack of IgA is not understood, but it has been tempting to relate the development of autoantibodies to the excess mucosal permeability that is a cardinal feature of this deficiency. Many individuals with IgA deficiency are healthy; this appears to be attributable to a range of potential immunologic mechanisms that can partially or wholly compensate for the deficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-449
Number of pages15
JournalImmunology and Allergy Clinics of North America
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1988


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