IgA Deficiency

 IgA Molecule.

Depiction of the IgA Molecule

What Is IgA Deficiency?

IgA deficiency (IgAD) is an immunodeficiency disease characterized by lack of immunoglobulin A type antibody production, called IgA antibody, with no detectable levels in blood or secretions.

Q: What is an IgA antibody?

A: IgA is an antibody of the immune system that is secreted by plasma cells (specialized white blood cells) through epithelial cell linings of mucosal surfaces into mucosa secretions to protect the lining from microbe invasion.

In fact, immunoglobulin class A is the main protein of the mucosal immune system. This includes mucosa of the eye surface, digestive tract, respiratory tract, urinary tract, and genital tract.

Both major histocompatibility complex (MHC) and non-MHC genes contribute to susceptibility to the disease. The former genes appear to be located in different parts of the MHC region depending on the HLA haplotype. The latter show a marked overlap with genes associated with a variety of autoimmune disorders including Graves’ disease, systemic lupus erythematosus, type 1 diabetes and celiac disease, suggesting common pathophysiological mechanisms. The involvement of genes associated with autoimmunity may suggest that IgAD in itself is an autoimmune disease.1

IgA deficiency may progress into a common variable immunodeficiency (CVID).2

What Is IgA Deficiency (IgAD) In Celiac Disease and/or Gluten Sensitivity?


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  1. Wang N, Hammarström L. IgA deficiency: what is new? Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. 2012 Dec;12(6):602-8. doi: 10.1097/ACI.0b013e3283594219. []
  2. Binek A, Jarosz-Chobot P.Selective immunoglobulin A deficiency. Pediatr Endocrinol Diabetes Metab. 2012;18(2):76-8. []