Red Flags

for Primary Immunodeficiency

arrow Repeated invasive infection (two or more pneumonias, recurrent septicemia, abscesses, meningitis).¹
arrow Infections with unusual or opportunistic pathogens (PJP).¹
arrow Poor response to prolonged or multiple antibiotic therapies.¹
arrow Chronic diarrhea with or without evidence of colitis.¹
arrow Chronic failure to gain weight and grow.²
arrow Persistent (or recurrent) unusual (atypical) or resistant to treatment oral lesions (thrush) or skin rash (erythroderma, telangiectasias, recurrent pustules/nodules/plaques).¹
arrow Structurally abnormal hair (kinky, silvery) nails(dystrophic) or teeth(pointy).²
arrow Low serum IgG, chronic lymphopenia, neutropenia or thrombocytopenia.¹
arrow Absent lymph nodes and tonsils or chronic enlargement of lymphoid tissues.¹
arrow A family history of Primary Immunodeficiency, autoimmunity or leukemia/lymphoma. ¹

References: ¹ All age groups  ² Infancy and childhood

There are more than 250 genetic defects and disorders of the immune system that are recognized as Primary Immunodeficiency. One in every 1,200 individuals are affected  by this disease and early diagnosis and treatment are vital in saving lives. Treatment can improve or prevent long term organ damage. Each Red Flag alone, should alert healthcare providers to the possibility of Primary Immunodeficiency and require further testing and investigation.

Two or more Red Flags should trigger an urgent referral to an Immunologist.

Written and approved by the Scientific Director and the Medical Advisory Board © 2014 Immunodeficiency Canada