Immunoglobulin replacement therapy in primary antibody deficiency diseases--maximizing success.
Antibody or humoral immunodeficiencies comprise the largest group of primary immunodeficiency diseases. Since the first description of patients with low gammaglobulin levels more than four decades ago, a great wealth of information has been accumulated. Especially in the last several years, the application of molecular and genetic techniques has unraveled many of these disorders, identifying disorders of B cell development, failure of class switch recombination and abnormalities of specific antibody production. Regardless of the underlying defect, the mainstay of therapy has been and remains immunoglobulin (Ig) replacement therapy, currently by intravenous infusion or subcutaneous injection. With advances in manufacturing, a number of products are not only safe for intravenous administration but doses can be increased to provide even more effective infection prophylaxis. However, manufacturing processes, methods of viral inactivation and removal and final composition differ widely among the available preparations. How these variables impact clinical outcome is not clear, but they have the potential to do so. As a result, careful selection of an intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG), matching patient needs and risks to those risks associated with a specific IVIG, is necessary to optimize outcomes and maximize the success of Ig replacement therapy.
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