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Immunology

A child’s immune system is his or her body’s natural defense against infection. Connecticut Children’s board-certified immunologists evaluate and treat infants, children and adolescents with a wide range of recurring, severe or unusual infections of the immune system.

More than 140 of these complex conditions exist and include both acquired and congenital immunodeficiency disorders, such as allergies and asthma, autoimmune diseases and immune deficiency diseases.

  • Allergies result from the immune system’s overreaction to a non-threatening foreign substance, such as food, pollen and pet dander. Symptoms of the allergy can include breathing problems, rash, nasal congestion, nausea, and vomiting.
  • Children with asthma suffer from periodic constriction of their airways making it harder to breathe. This condition occurs when the immune system becomes overactive in the airways in the lungs.
  • Autoimmune diseases occur when the immune system mistakes some part of the body as a pathogen (virus or bacteria) and attacks its own cells. In response to an unknown trigger, the immune system produces antibodies that instead of fighting infections, attack the body’s own tissues. Examples of autoimmune disorders include lupus, multiple sclerosis, Guillain-Barre syndrome, psoriasis, Grave’s disease, and Hashimoto’s disease.
  • Immune deficiency diseases occur when the immune system is suppressed by medications or illness, or may also be present from birth. Children affected by immune deficiency diseases are at high risk for infections, and may have frequent infections or infections with unusual organisms. HIV/AIDS and graft versus host syndrome are examples of immune deficiency diseases.

At Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, our top researchers are experienced in diagnosing, treating and managing conditions such as chronic granulomatous disease (CGD), hyper IgE syndrome (Job’s syndrome), velo-cardio-facial syndrome (VCFS)/Di George syndrome, common variable immunodeficiency (CVID), and a vast number of primary immune deficiency diseases. We also have access to cutting-edge studies and clinical trials that may benefit pediatric patients affected by immunodeficiency disorders.

 

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