Show Summary Details
Page of



Sophie Hambleton

, Sara Marshall

, and Dinakantha S. Kumararatne

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 28 February 2021

Immunodeficiency is caused by failure of a component of the immune system and results in increased susceptibility to infections. The possibility of an underlying immunodeficiency should be considered if a patient has: serious, persistent, unusual, or recurrent infections; failure to thrive in infancy; known family history of immunodeficiency; unexplained lymphopenia in infancy; or a combination of clinical features characteristic of a particular immunodeficiency syndrome. The nature of the microbial infection in a particular patient provides a clue to the likely cause of immunodeficiency. Primary immunodeficiency diseases are heritable disorders that result in defects in an intrinsic component of the immune system. Secondary immunodeficiencies are caused by conditions that impair the normal function of the immune system and include viral infections, myelomatosis, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, severe renal or liver failure, and use of therapeutic agents which impair immunity.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.