Common variable immunodeficiency, cross currents, and prevailing winds.
Common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) is a heterogenous disease category created to distinguish late-onset antibody deficiencies from early-onset diseases like agammaglobulinemia or more expansively dysfunctional combined immunodeficiencies. Opinions vary on which affected patients should receive a CVID diagnosis which confuses clinicians and erects reproducibility barriers for researchers. Most experts agree that CVID's most indeliable feature is defective germinal center (GC) production of isotype-switched, affinity-maturated antibodies. Here, we review the biological factors contributing to CVID-associated GC dysfunction including genetic, epigenetic, tolerogenic, microbiome, and regulatory abnormalities. We also discuss the consequences of these biological phenomena to the development of non-infectious disease complications. Finally, we opine on topics and lines of investigation we think hold promise for expanding our mechanistic understanding of this protean condition and for improving the lives of affected patients.
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