PID Glossary

Acquired immune deficiency An immune deficiency acquired during a person’s lifetime. Can be caused by e.g.: an infection, medication or radiation.
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome AIDS. An acquired immune deficiency, caused by HIV
Acute Description of a disease, which is usually short-termed and of recent onset.
Adenosine Deaminase(ADA) An enzyme, which is important for the development of the immune system
Agammaglobulinemia Total (almost) lack of immunoglobulins
Amniocentesis Extraction of amniotic fluid in order to perform prenatal genetic testing
Anemia Deficiency of red blood cells, haemoglobin or blood volume
Antibody Protein molecules produced and secreted by some B cells in response to stimulation by an antigen.
Antigen Any foreign substance that activates the immune system
Aspergillus A kind of fungi including many common molds
Ataxia Unsteady walk caused by neurological abnormalities
Autoantibody An immunoglobulin, which reacts against the person’s own tissue
Autoimmune Disease A disease in which a persons immune system reacts against the persons own tissue.
Autosomal recessive inheritance Non X – linked inheritance. The trait or disease is inherited from both parents
Autosomes Every chromosome except the sex chromosome
B ­– lymphocytes (B cells) White blood cells originating from the bone marrow. Involved in the production of immunoglobulins
Bacteria Single cell organisms (microorganisms).
Bone marrow Soft tissue located in the hollow bones
Bone marrow transplantation (BMT) A treatment by the means of whichbone marrow from one person is transplanted to another person
Bronchiectasis A dilation of the bronchi. Can be caused by recurrent infections
Carrier detection Detection of a genetic defect, which does not express itself in the carrier
CD 40 Ligand A protein located on the surface of the T cells
Cellular immunity Immune protection provided by the direct action of the immune cells
Chemokine Polypeptides(chains of aminoacids) controlling the activities of the leucocytes
Chorionic villus sampling Extraction of a sample from the placenta during pregnancy with the purpose to perform a genetic test
Chromosomes Structures in the cellular nucleus carrying the genes. Each human cell has 23 pairs of chromosomes
Chronic Description of a recurrent or continuous infection or disease.
Combined immune deficiency An immune deficiency involving both B and T cells
Complement About 28 proteins circulating in the blood. They act in a definite sequence to affect the destruction of bacteria, viruses and fungi
Congenital An inborn disease or deformity
Cord blood Blood from the placenta or the umbilical cord
Consanguineous  Related by blood
Cryptosporidium A microbe that can cause stomach problems and liver disease. May be present in drinking water
Cytokine A signalling protein. Regulates the activity of other cells. Interleukins and interferons are examples of cytokines
Deoxyribonucleic acid(DNA) The carrier of genetic information in the chromosomes
Eczema Inflammation of the skin with redness, itching and squamation
Endocrine system A number of glands in the body. Produces hormones.
Eosinophilia An increase in the number of eosinophil granular white blood cells
Enzyme A protein facilitating chemical reactions
Fungus Member of a family of relative primitive microorganisms (mushrooms, yeast and molds)
Gamma interferon A cytokine primarily produced by the T cells. Improves bacterial killing by phagocytes
Gamma globulin The protein fraction of blood containing immunoglobulins
Gene A unit of genetic material (DNA)
Gene therapy Treatment of genetic diseases. A normal gene is inserted into the patient
Genetic testing Test performed to confirm if a person has a special gene
Graft rejection Immune reaction in the recipient leading to rejection of the transplanted organ or tissue
Graft-versus-host disease A reaction by means of which transplanted immune cells attack the tissue of the recipient
Granulocyte A white blood cell, which is able to ingest foreign microbes
Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor(G-CSF) A cytokine which stimulates proliferation, development and function of granulocytes
Granulocyte-  macrophage colony -stimulating factor (GM -CSF) A cytokine stimulating proliferation, development and function of granulocytes and macrophages.
Haplotype A series of gene clusters on the sixth chromosome that determines histocompatibility antigens
Helper lymphocytes(helper T cells) A subset of T cells, which support the function of B cells and T cells
Histocompatibility antigens Chemicals on the surface of most body cells. Rather unique to each person. Determine the tissue type of a person
Human immune deficiency virus (HIV) A virus infecting and destroying cells of the immune system. Causes AIDS
Humoral immunity Immune protection provided by soluble factors circulating in the blood.
Hypo- Under normal
Hypogammaglobulinaemia Too low levels of immunoglobulins in the blood
Hypoplasia Insufficient development of an organ or part of the body
IgA Immunglobulin, class A. Available in the blood and tears and on the mucous membranes in the body. Is secreted in the breast milk.
IgD Immunglobulin, class D. Its function is not well understood
IgE Immunglobulin, class E. Only very small amounts in the blood. Responsible for allergic reactions
IgG Immunglobulin, class G. The most abundant and common immunoglobulin. Reacts against bacteria and viruses. Able to cross the placenta.
IgM Immunglobulin, class M. Circulates with the blood. Activates the complement system. Is the first immunoglobulin to be produced
Immune deficiency A congenital or acquired abnormal function of the immune system
Immune response The reaction of the immune system against foreign microbes
Immunocompetent The ability to initiate an immune reaction
Immunoglobulins (Ig) The same as antibodies. Five different classes: IgA, IgD, IgE, IgG, IgM.
Immunoglobulin replacement therapy Subcutaneous (SCIG) or intravenous injection (IVIG) of immunoglobuulin
Incubation The time span between the infection and the manifestation of the disease
In vitro Experiment done in laboratory outside a living environment
In vivo Experiment done in a living environment
Infection Disease caused by a pathogen
Inflammation Heat of a part of the body, with pain, redness and swelling
Interleukin Signalling protein. Mainly produced by the T cells and macrophages
IVIG Intravenous injection immunoglobulin
Killer lymphocytes Cytotoxic T cells, kill microbes, or cells infected by them directly
Leukaemia Type of cancer affecting the cells of the immune system
Leukocyte(white blood cell) Small colorless blood cells playing an important role in the immune system. Five basic types: Monocytes, lymphocytes, neutrophils, eosinophils and basophil cells
Live vaccines Live viruses used in vaccines. In immunocompromised persons they can transmit that disease which they were originally designed to prevent
Lymph Fluid made up of various components of the immune system. Flows throughout tissues of the body
Lymph node Small bean-sized organs of the immune system, distributed widely in the body. Each lymph node contains special compartments for T cells, B cells and macrophages
Lymphocytes Small white cells in the blood and lymphoid tissue, Two major forms: B cells and T cells
Lymphoma Type of cancer of the lymphocytes
Macrophage A phagocytic tissue cell. Destructs foreign antigens and present them to T and B cells
Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) A series of genes on chomosome number six. Determines a persons tissue type
Malignancy Cancer
Metabolism The chemical process in the cells or the body as a whole, whether it is building up or breaking down of living material
Microbes Very small living organisms. Normally single cells. Includes bacteria, protozoa and fungi
Molecules Subunits of matter, element or compound. The molecules themselves are composed of atoms.
Monocyte Phagocytic cell in the blood. Acts as scavenger. Develops into a macrophage in the tissue
Monokines Chemical messengers produced by monocytes and macrophages
Mucosal surfaces Surfaces that come in close contact with the environment (eyes, mouth, nose, gastrointestinal tract, etc.)
NK cell Natural killer cell
Neutropenia A lower than normal number of neutrophils in the blood
Neutrophils A type of granulocytes in the blood and tissues. Able to ingest microbes
Opportunistic infection An infection, which only occurs under special circumstances.
Opsonin Antibodies, which bind microbes to phagocytes
Organism An individual living thing
Osteomyelitis Infection of a bone
Parasite A plant or animal, which lives within another living orgaism
Parathyroid gland Small glands in the neck near to thyroid. Control the metabolism and levels of calcium in the blood
Petecchiae Very small red spots in the skin caused by punctiform bleedings in the skin
Phagocyte A class of white blood cells, which ingest microbes, other cells and foreign particles
Plasma cells Cells, descending from B cells, producing immunoglobulin
Platelets The smallest and most fragile blood cells. Function: blood clotting
Polyethylene glycol-adenosine deaminase (PEG-ADA) A replacement enzyme, which is able to normalise certain immune functions
Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) A sensitive and fast method to identify a microbes
Polypeptides Chains of aminoacids
Polysaccharides Complex sugars
Primary immunodeficiency Disease, intrinsic to the cells and tissues of the immune system
Prophylactic Medical therapy initiated to prevent a disease or infection
Protein Organic chemicals made up of chains of amino acids
Protozoa A small parasite
Secondary immune deficiency Immune deficiency due to another illness or treatment.
Sepsis Infection of the blood
Sex chromosomes Two chromosomes: X and Y. XX for female and XY for male
Spleen Organ in the abdominal cavity. Contains B cells, T cells and macrophages
Stem cells Cells from which all blood cells and immune cells are derived
Subcutaneous infusion Injection of immunoglobulin directly under the skin with a small pump
T cell A lymphocyte. Processed in the thymus
Telangiectasia Dilation of the blood vessels
Thrombocytopenia Low number of the platelets
Thrush Fungal disease of mucous membranes in the mouth, caused by Candida
Thymus gland Lymphoid organ located behind the upper portion of the breast bone. The chief educator of T cells. Increases in size from infancy to adolescence. Herupon it gradually shrinks.
Vaccine A substance that contains components from an infectious organism. Stimulates the immune system and protects the body from subsequent attacks
Vector Modified viruses with normal genes. Are used in gene therapy
Virus A submicroscopic microbe causing infections. Is only able to reproduce in living cells
White blood cells See leukocyte
X – linked inheritance Inheritance when the disease is inherited via the X -chromosome