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Immunodeficiency Disorders

The immunology specialists at UPMC in central Pa. evaluate and treat primary and secondary immunodeficiency disorders in children and adults.

Why Choose UPMC in Central Pa. for Immunodeficiency Disorder Treatment?

If you have symptoms of an immunodeficiency disorder, the immunology specialists at UPMC in central Pa. will conduct a complete evaluation to find out more about how well your immune system is working. We offer a full range of tests and treatments for immunodeficiency disorders, including:

Diagnostic Tests for Immunodeficiency Disorders

  • Blood tests. Blood tests can be used to check levels of white blood cells, T-cells, and immunoglobulin, which can help to diagnose immunodeficiency disorders.
  • Antibody test. During an antibody test, your doctor will give you a vaccine. A few days or weeks later, your doctor will test your blood to see if your immune system has developed antibodies in response to the vaccine. If your immune system does not develop antibodies, it could be a sign of an immunodeficiency disorder.

Medications for Immunodeficiency Disorders

  • Medications may be used to treat immunodeficiency disorders. Your health care provider will let you know what type of medication is right for your condition.

Patient Education for Immunodeficiency Disorders

  • Our specialists provide the education and information you need to manage your immunodeficiency disorder, including medication management and recommendations on how to stay healthy.

What is an immunodeficiency disorder?

An immunodeficiency disorder occurs when your immune system does not work properly and is unable to fight off bacteria, viruses, cancer cells, or parasites. There are two types of immunodeficiency disorders:

  • Primary immunodeficiency disorders. Primary (congenital) immunodeficiency is present at birth. There are more than 100 different primary immunodeficiency disorders, including X-linked agammaglobulinemia (XLA), common variable immunodeficiency (CVID), and severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID).
  • Secondary immunodeficiency disorders. Secondary immunodeficiency disorders are more common than primary immunodeficiency disorders and occur when something from outside your body — such as a medication or infection — attacks your immune system.

What are the Symptoms of Immunodeficiency Disorders?

There are many types of immunodeficiency disorders, and each disorder has unique symptoms. However, if you have a viral or bacterial infection — such as a cold, pink eye, pneumonia, a sinus infection, or a yeast infection — that doesn’t respond to treatment, comes back frequently, or never completely goes away, it could be a sign of an immunodeficiency disorder.

Who is at Risk for Immunodeficiency Disorders?

If you have a family history of a primary immunodeficiency disorder, it may put you at a higher risk for an immunodeficiency disorder. Exposure to things that weaken your immune system — such as HIV, malnutrition, or medications to treat cancer — can put you at a higher risk for developing a secondary immunodeficiency disorder.

How Can I Prevent Immunodeficiency Disorders?

There is nothing you can do to prevent a primary immunodeficiency disorder. However, you may be able to reduce your risk of developing a secondary immunodeficiency disorder by supporting your immune system with plenty of sleep, exercise, and a healthy diet, and limiting your exposure to infections as much as possible.



UPMC Allergy and Immunology
Located at UPMC Outpatient Center
21 Waterford Drive
Mechanicsburg, PA 17050

Phone: 717-988-9180
Fax: 717-775-5723


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Phone: 717-988-9180

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