Clinical immunology review series: an approach to the patient with recurrent infections in childhood

Clin Exp Immunol. 2008 Jun;152(3):389-96. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2249.2008.03641.x. Epub 2008 Mar 28.


Recurrent or persistent infection is the major manifestation of primary immunodeficiency, which also results in atypical infection with opportunistic organisms. Young children are also vulnerable to infection and recurrent infection is common. While most children with recurrent infection have a normal immunity, it is important to recognize the child with an underlying primary immunodeficiency and investigate and treat appropriately and yet not over investigate normal children. Prompt, accurate diagnosis directs the most appropriate treatment, and early and judicious use of prophylactic antibiotics and replacement immunoglobulin can prevent significant end organ damage and improve long-term outlook and quality of life. This paper describes important presenting features of primary immunodeficiency and indicates when further investigation is warranted.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age of Onset
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes / complications*
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes / diagnosis*
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Opportunistic Infections / complications*
  • Opportunistic Infections / immunology
  • Opportunistic Infections / therapy
  • Patient Selection
  • Recurrence