Types of Primary Immune Deficiency Diseases

There are more than 200 different forms of primary immune deficiency diseases (PIDDs). NIAID conducts research across all primary immune deficiency diseases, as well as the individual disease that make up this broad category. The following are the individual PIDDs NIAID is currently studying.

Autoimmune Lymphoproliferative Syndrome (ALPS)

Autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome (ALPS) is a rare immune disorder first described by NIH scientists in the mid-1990s that can cause numerous autoimmune problems, such as low levels of red blood cells, clot-forming platelets, and infection-fighting white blood cells. These problems can increase the risk of infection and hemorrhage. Read more about autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome (ALPS).


Autoimmune polyglandular syndrome type 1 (APS-1) causes a diverse range of symptoms, including autoimmunity against different types of organs and increased susceptibility to candidiasis, a fungal infection caused by Candida yeast. The disease also is called APECED. Read more about APS-1 (APECED).

BENTA Disease

BENTA disease is a rare genetic disorder of the immune system caused by mutations in the gene CARD11. The disease is characterized by high levels of certain immune cells starting in infancy, an enlarged spleen, enlarged lymph nodes, immunodeficiency, and an elevated risk of a type of cancer called lymphoma. Read more about BENTA disease.

Caspase Eight Deficiency State (CEDS)

Caspase eight deficiency state, or CEDS, is a very rare genetic disorder of the immune system caused by mutations in the CASP8 gene. CEDS is characterized by an enlarged spleen and lymph nodes, recurrent sinus and lung infections, recurrent viral infections, and a low level of infection-fighting antibodies. NIH researchers first described this condition in two siblings in 2002. Read more about CEDS.

CARD9 Deficiency and Other Syndromes of Susceptibility to Candidiasis

CARD9 deficiency results in susceptibility to fungal infections like candidiasis, which is caused by the yeast fungus Candida. Typically, Candida and other fungi are present on the skin and do not cause severe problems in healthy people. Read more about CARD9 deficiency and other syndromes of susceptibility to candidiasis.

Chronic Granulomatous Disease (CGD)

CGD occurs when white blood cells called phagocytes are unable to kill certain bacteria and fungi, and mutations in one of five different genes may cause this disease. People with CGD have increased susceptibility to infections. Read more about chronic granulomatous disease (CGD).

Common Variable Immunodeficiency (CVID)

CVID is caused by a variety of different genetic abnormalities that result in a defect in the capability of immune cells to produce normal amounts of antibodies. People with CVID experience frequent bacterial or viral infections of the upper airway, sinuses, and lungs. Read more about common variable immunodeficiency (CVID).

Congenital Neutropenia Syndromes

Congenital neutropenia syndromes are a group of disorders present from birth that are characterized by low levels of neutrophils, a type of white blood cell necessary for fighting infections. Read more about congenital neutropenia syndromes.

CTLA4 Deficiency

CTLA4 deficiency is a rare disorder that severely impairs the normal regulation of the immune system, resulting in conditions such as intestinal disease, respiratory infections, autoimmune problems, and enlarged lymph nodes, liver and spleen. NIAID scientists and their collaborators identified the disease in 2014. Read more about CTLA4 deficiency

DOCK8 Deficiency

DOCK8 immunodeficiency syndrome is a rare immune disorder named after the mutated gene responsible for the disease. The disorder causes dysfunction and decreased numbers of immune cells, as well as poor ability of immune cells to move across dense tissues like the skin. These abnormalities resulting from DOCK8 defects lead to recurrent viral infections of the skin and respiratory system. Read more about DOCK8 immunodeficiency syndrome

GATA2 Deficiency

GATA2 deficiency is a rare disorder of the immune system with wide-ranging effects. First identified in 2011, the disorder is characterized by immunodeficiency, lung disease, problems of the vascular/lymphatic system, and myelodysplastic syndrome (a condition characterized by ineffective blood cell production). Early diagnosis is critical for optimal disease management, prevention of severe complications, treatment, and evaluation of at-risk relatives. Read more about GATA2 deficiency.

Glycosylation Disorders With Immunodeficiency

Glycosylation refers to the attachment of sugars to proteins, a normal process required for the healthy function of cells. Defects in glycosylation can disrupt the immune system, resulting in immunodeficiency and potentially causing extensive and severe symptoms. Read more about glycosylation disorders with immunodeficiency

Hyper-Immunoglobulin E Syndrome

People with autosomal dominant hyper-immunoglobulin E syndrome (HIES) have recurrent bacterial infections of the skin and lungs. Patients with HIES typically also have eczema, distinct facial features, and a tendency to experience bone fractures. The disease has several other names, including Job's syndrome, STAT3 deficiency, and Buckley syndrome. Read more about hyper-immunoglobulin E syndrome.

Hyper-Immunoglobulin M (Hyper-IgM) Syndromes

Hyper-IgM syndromes are rare, inherited conditions in which the immune system fails to produce normal levels of the antibodies immunoglobulin A (IgA), IgG and IgE but can produce normal or elevated levels of IgM. Various gene defects that impair communication between T cells and antibody-producing B cells can lead to hyper-IgM syndromes. Hyper-IgM syndromes can cause severe respiratory infections in infancy and a higher risk of rare infections throughout life. Treatment includes regular intravenous or subcutaneous antibody replacement therapy, anti-fungal prophylactics, and in some cases, bone marrow transplant from a healthy donor.

Interferon Gamma, Interleukin 12, Interleukin 23 Deficiencies

Interferon gamma, interleukin 12, and interleukin 23 deficiencies are rare, inherited immune disorders in which the body fails to produce one or more of these signaling molecules, which allow infection-fighting immune cells to communicate. Deficiencies in these molecules lead to increased susceptibility to infections caused by bacteria and viruses. Many people with these deficiencies develop granulomas, or inflammatory lesions that form in tissues and organs because of recurring infections. While many of these deficiencies begin to cause symptoms in infancy or childhood, some cases are seen later in life. Treatment includes antibiotic therapy to prevent infections and, in some cases, bone marrow transplant from a healthy donor.

Leukocyte Adhesion Deficiency (LAD)

Leukocyte adhesion deficiency (LAD) is a rare, inherited immune disorder in which immune cells called phagocytes are unable to move to the site of an infection to fight off invading pathogens. People with LAD experience recurrent, life-threatening infections and poor wound healing. LAD is caused by a mutation in the gene ITGB2, which provides instructions for the phagocyte surface molecule CD18. Treatments for LAD include antibiotics to prevent and treat infection and, in some cases, bone marrow transplants from a healthy donor.

LRBA Deficiency

LRBA deficiency is a rare genetic disorder of the immune system caused by mutations in the LRBA gene. This disease impairs normal immune system functionality and results in autoimmunity, recurrent infections, and increased risk of lymphoma. Sometimes the excess lymphocytes enter and accumulate in organs where lymphocytes typically are not present in large numbers such as the gut, lungs and brain, which can cause a variety of symptomsRead more about LRBA deficiency (fact sheet).

PI3 Kinase Disease

PI3 Kinase disease is caused by genetic mutations that overactivate an important immune system signaling pathway. This causes a chain reaction of problems, disrupting the normal development of infection-fighting B and T cells. People with the disease have a weakened immune system and experience frequent bacterial and viral infections. Read more about PI3 kinase disease.

PLCG2-associated Antibody Deficiency and Immune Dysregulation (PLAID)

PLAID and PLAID-like diseases are rare immune disorders with overlapping features, and an allergic response to cold, called cold urticaria, is the most distinct symptom. Read more about PLCG2-associated antibody deficiency and immune dysregulation (PLAID).

Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID)

SCID is a group of rare, life-threatening disorders caused by mutations in different genes involved in the development and function of infection-fighting T and B cells. Infants with SCID appear healthy at birth but are highly susceptible to severe infections. Read more about severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID).

STAT3 Gain-of-Function Disease

STAT3 gain-of-function disease is a rare genetic disorder of the immune system caused by a malfunction in the STAT3 gene that leads overactive STAT3 proteins. Symptoms of this disease begin early in life and include swelling of the lymph nodes, low blood cell counts and autoimmunity that can affect multiple organs and tissues. People with STAT3 gain-of-function disease may experience recurrent infections, eczema and growth problems. Read more about STAT3 gain-of-function disease.

Warts, Hypogammaglobulinemia, Infections, and Myelokathexis Syndrome (WHIMS)

People with WHIM syndrome have low levels of infection-fighting white blood cells, especially neutrophils, in their bloodstreams​. This deficiency predisposes them to frequent infections and persistent warts. Read more about Warts, Hypogammaglobulinemia, Infections, and Myelokathexis Syndrome (WHIMS).

Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome (WAS)

Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WAS) is a rare genetic disorder of the immune system that primarily affects boys. WAS is an X-linked recessive disease caused by mutations in the WAS gene, which provides instructions for production of Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome Protein. It is characterized by abnormal immune function and a reduced ability to form blood clots. This can result in prolonged episodes of bleeding, recurrent bacterial and fungal infections, and increased risk of cancers and autoimmune diseases. Read more about WAS.

X-Linked Agammaglobulinemia (XLA)

XLA is caused by an inability to produce B cells or immunoglobulins (antibodies), which are made by B cells. People with XLA develop frequent infections of the ears, throat, lungs, and sinuses. Read more about X-linked agammaglobulinemia (XLA).

X-Linked Lymphoproliferative Disease (XLP)

XLP primarily affects boys and is characterized by a life-long vulnerability to Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a common type of herpesvirus. Boys with XLP are healthy until they are exposed to EBV. Then, they can become seriously ill and experience swollen lymph nodes, an enlarged liver and spleen, hepatitis, and lymphoma, a type of cancer. Read more about X-Linked Lymphoproliferative Disease (XLP).

XMEN Disease

XMEN disease is a rare genetic disorder of the immune system. XMEN stands for “X-linked immuno-deficiency with magnesium defect, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection, and neoplasia.” It is characterized by low levels of infection-fighting CD4+ cells, chronic EBV infection, and EBV-related lymphoproliferative disease, in which excessive numbers of immune cells are produced. Investigators at the National Institutes of Health first described XMEN disease in 2011. Read more about XMEN Disease and watch a video on how NIH scientists discovered the disease.

Content last reviewed on November 30, 2017