Immunoglobulin G subclass deficiency and predisposition to infection in Down's syndrome

Pediatr Infect Dis J. 1990 Aug;9(8):547-51. doi: 10.1097/00006454-199008000-00004.


Serum immunoglobulins and IgG subclasses were measured in 26 children with Down's syndrome using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and monoclonal antibodies. Eighteen (69%) of the children had increased susceptibility to infection. None of the children had deficiencies of total IgG and IgM, and only one had an IgA deficiency. IgG4 deficiency was diagnosed in 14 (54%) children. One child had a deficiency of IgG2. There were no children with deficiencies of either IgG1 or IgG3. There was a significant correlation between IgG subclass deficiency and predisposition to infection (P less than 0.05). Ninety percent of the patients with severe infections had low IgG4 whereas only 25% of those with no infections had low concentrations of IgG4. These results suggest that it is important to screen patients with Down's syndrome who have frequent systemic or respiratory infections for IgG subclass deficiencies because this may not be apparent from the assay of total IgG.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Down Syndrome / complications
  • Down Syndrome / immunology*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Humans
  • IgG Deficiency*
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes / complications*
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / immunology