About Specific Antibody Deficiency
Among the five classes of immunoglobulin: IgG, IgA, IgM, IgD, and IgE, IgG has the predominant role in protection against infection. Some patients have normal levels of immunoglobulin and all forms of IgG, but do not produce sufficient specific IgG antibodies that protect us from some viruses and bacteria. Patients who otherwise produce normal immunoglobulin levels but who lack the ability to produce protective IgG molecules against the types of organisms that cause upper and lower respiratory infections are said to have Specific Antibody Deficiency (SAD). SAD is sometimes termed partial antibody deficiency or impaired polysaccharide responsiveness. Specific IgG antibodies are important in fighting off infections; however, other components of our immune system also work to eradicate bacteria and viruses. T-cells complement proteins and IgA antibodies (to name a few) are parts of our immune system that work together during a complete immune response. If these other components work well, some patients with low specific antibody levels may rarely get sick. Antibodies of certain IgG subclasses interact readily with the complement system, while others interact poorly, if at all, with the complement proteins. Thus, an inability to produce antibodies of a specific subclass or mild deficiencies of other arms of the immune system may render the individual susceptible to certain kinds of infections but not others.