Genetics of Pediatric Immune-Mediated Diseases and Human Immunity

Annu Rev Immunol. 2021 Apr 26:39:227-249. doi: 10.1146/annurev-immunol-093019-124513. Epub 2021 Feb 3.


Primary immunodeficiency diseases (PIDs) are a rapidly growing, heterogeneous group of genetically determined diseases characterized by defects in the immune system. While individually rare, collectively PIDs affect between 1/1,000 and 1/5,000 people worldwide. The clinical manifestations of PIDs vary from susceptibility to infections to autoimmunity and bone marrow failure. Our understanding of the human immune response has advanced by investigation and discovery of genetic mechanisms of PIDs. Studying patients with isolated genetic variants in proteins that participate in complex signaling pathways has led to an enhanced understanding of host response to infection, and mechanisms of autoimmunity and autoinflammation. Identifying genetic mechanisms of PIDs not only furthers immunological knowledge but also benefits patients by dictating targeted therapies or hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Here, we highlight several of these areas in the field of primary immunodeficiency, with a focus on the most recent advances.

Keywords: genetics; immune dysregulation; immunodeficiency; pediatric; sequencing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmunity / genetics
  • Humans
  • Immune System
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes* / genetics
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes* / therapy
  • Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases*