World PI Week 22-29 April 2022

Driving improved recognition of Primary Immunodeficiencies

Friday 22nd April sees the start of World PI (Primary Immunodeficiency) Week, raising awareness of these relatively poorly understood conditions that can cause severe complications throughout patients’ lives and have enormous impact on their quality of life.

Primary immunodeficiencies, or PIDs, are rare conditions that weaken the immune system, allowing infections and other health problems to occur more easily. Many people with PIDs are born missing some of the body’s immune defences or with the immune system not working properly, which leaves them more susceptible to bacterial, viral, and fungal infections.

However, often these conditions go unrecognised or are misdiagnosed. More than 450 forms of PID have been identified; some are so mild they can go unnoticed until adulthood. Other types are severe enough that they’re discovered soon after an affected baby is born.

The most common symptoms are severe, persistent and/or recurring infections such as ear, sinus, or skin infections, as well as inflammation in the lungs, liver and intestines. For severe forms of primary immunodeficiency, new-born screening is a lifesaving, cost effective method to drive early diagnosis and save lives.

There are treatments that can help boost the immune system in many types of primary immunodeficiency disorder. Research is ongoing, with the promise of potentially improved treatments and enhanced quality of life for people with these conditions. However, general awareness of these conditions is relatively low. World PI Week aims to drive improved recognition of PIDs and greater understanding among both physicians and the general public to build an improved infrastructure for diagnosis and treatment worldwide.

To find out more about PIDs and World PI Week, visit http://www.worldpiweek.org/

 

References/sources:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/primary-immunodeficiency/symptoms-causes/syc-20376905. Accessed 21 April 2022

http://www.worldpiweek.org/