Infections in Immunodeficiency States

  • M. W. Hess
  • H. Cottier
  • J. Schaedeli
  • S. Barandun


Immunodeficiency states in man are characterized by the inability of the organism to mount a normal immune response following antigenic stimulation. Since Bruton’s first description in 1952 (6) of a young boy who suffered from recurrent severe infections and who was found to be agammaglobulinemic — a disease now called “infantile X-linked agammaglobulinemia”-, a broad spectrum of immunodeficiency states with defects of humoral and/or cell-mediated immunity has been discovered (reviews: 3, 9, 12, 14). It should be recognized that, in addition to faulty or absent production of humoral antibodies and/or sensitized lymphocytes (“primary specific immunodeficiency”), lowered resistance to infectious disease may also be due to 1. immunoglobulin hypercatabolism or loss (e. g. protein-losing enteropathy); 2. exogenous physicochemical causes, e. g. cytotoxic or immunosuppressive agents, ionizing radiation; 3. concomitant diseases, e. g. metabolic disorders, such as Diabetes mellitus, viral diseases, or neoplasia of the lymphoreticular or hemopoietic system; or 4. dysfunction of phagocytic cell systems (e. g. chronic granulomatous disease). The present review is largely limited to findings pertaining to the group of “primary specific immunodeficiency states”. These rare but well-studied cases offer an opportunity for comparison of basic functional and morphological defects with current views and hypotheses of pathogenetic mechanisms.


Germinal Center Chronic Granulomatous Disease Immunodeficiency State Normal Immune Response Thymic Cortex 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. W. Hess
  • H. Cottier
  • J. Schaedeli
  • S. Barandun

There are no affiliations available

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