Innate Immunity Disorders

Also known as: innate immune defects, innate immunity, primary immunodeficiency diseases

What are Innate Immunity Disorders?

The body’s immune system has two different types of responses to foreign invaders

  • The innate immune system refers to a set of cells that respond as a nonspecific response to infections without any additional specialization or “training,” (these include neutrophils, monocytes, natural killer cells (NK), basophils and mast cells, complement proteins and others.

  • The adaptive or acquired immune system are the specific response to an infection with cells that adapt and tailor their response to specific intruders over time (T-cells and B-cells).

Primary immunodeficiency diseases are those where the body’s immune system is missing or does not function properly. They can be divided into those involving the innate and adaptive systems.

What causes innate immunity disorders? 

The precise cause of an innate immunity disorder is often unclear; genetic mutations, and/or associations with other medical conditions are common.

What are the symptoms of innate immunity disorders?

Symptoms of innate immunity disorders can vary widely depending on which type of disorder is present. What is typical is that the body has more difficulty fighting off a particular infection than it normally should. Increased susceptibility with more frequent infections than normal are common.

What are innate immunity disorder care options? 

A variety of different forms of medication, including certain antibiotics to treat infections, (immunoglobulins may be prescribed) and drugs known as TLR-based therapies, may be used to treat innate immunity disorders.


Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: May 06, 2021 09:47 AM

Pediatric Allergy & Immunology

The Clinical Immunology Division evaluates recurrent infections, and suspected or confirmed immunodeficiency disorders. Our Miami location also evaluates HIV and fevers of unknown origin.

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