Treatment for Complement Deficiencies

Complement Deficiencies cause clinical problems as a result of a deficiency in complement proteins.

What are Complement Deficiencies?

There are several different complement proteins that are important in protecting us from certain type of infections, specifically bacterial infections. Complement deficiencies affect the body’s complement system, a vital component of the immune system.

Types of Complement Deficiencies

Mannose Binding Lectin Deficiency

This is a common immunodeficiency that most individuals, about 3% of the population, who have it do not know and live normal lives. It is defined as low levels of an immune protein called mannose-binding lectin. Individuals with this diagnosis are susceptible to recurrent sinopulmonary infections including sinusitis, bronchitis and pneumonia.

Early Complement Deficiencies (C1, C2, C3 & C4)

Patients with a deficiency of one of the early complement components are susceptible to infections with encapsulated bacterial infections such as Streptococcus Pneumoniae and Haemophiles Influenza type b.

Late Complement Deficiencies (C5, C6, C7, C8, C9)

Patients with a deficiency of one of the late complement components are susceptible to recurrent Neisseria Meningitidis or Neisseria Gonorrhoeae infections, which cause Meningitis and Gonorrhea respectively.

Diagnosing Complement Deficiencies in New Jersey

Family & Medical History

A crucial diagnostic clue, an individual’s personal history of recurrent or severe infections. A family history of primary immunodeficiencies can be a significant indicator, suggesting a genetic predisposition to immune system defects. It prompts healthcare providers to investigate further.

Physical Exam

During a physical examination, healthcare professionals may look for signs of immunodeficiency. These findings can guide the diagnostic process. The specific types of infections a person develops can provide valuable diagnostic information. 

Laboratory Tests

Laboratory tests are essential for diagnosing primary immunodeficiencies. These tests may include immune function assessments, such as measuring antibody or immunoglobulin levels, immune cell counts, and functional assays to identify specific defects in the immune system.

Treatment

There is currently no cure for Complement Deficiencies, but aggressive use of antibiotics may be deemed appropriate to improve protection against specific infections.

Speak with an immunologist to determine if you have complement deficiencies.