Approximately 1 in 1,200 individuals suffer from a weak immune system, and thousands more go undetected. A major consequence of a weak immune system is the inability to fight off infections; consequently people suffer from recurrent, severe, persistent or unusual infections. Infections can involve the skin, sinuses, ears, throat, lungs, brain, blood, urinary or intestinal tracts. In addition, a dysfunctional immune system increases the risk of autoimmune disorders, inflammatory diseases, allergic diseases and cancer. People may experience recurring health problems throughout their lives and suffer debilitating illnesses that lead to hospitalization or even death.
It is not uncommon for patients to suffer from recurrent illnesses for many years before receiving a diagnosis. It is estimated that 70-90% of persons living with Primary Immunodeficiency remain undiagnosed, with about 500,000 undiagnosed patients in the United States. This is in large part due to lack of recognition and expertise in adult immunodeficiency diseases. In additional to significantly reducing pain, suffering, and long-term disability, early diagnosis and treatment would save approximately $110,000 per patient per year, by reducing infections, hospitalizations, antibiotic use, COPD exacerbations, and time off from work.
Johns Hopkins Medicine seeks solutions. The Johns Hopkins Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology is home to the new Adult Primary Immunodeficiency Center of Excellence. One of the only centers of its kind, we are a leader in treating adults whose quality of life has been hindered by immune disorders. With a focus on patient care, key areas of study for the center include early recognition and diagnosis, as well as multidisciplinary approaches to therapy.
As both passionate caregivers and driven scientists, our faculty are determined to help find new and more effective ways to help patients control the contributing factors and complications of immune disorders, thus empowering our patients to live longer, healthier lives.