Hyper IgM syndrome describes a group of primary immune deficiency disorders characterized by defective CD40 signaling; via B cells affecting class switch recombination (CSR) and somatic hypermutation. Immunoglobulin (Ig) class switch recombination deficiencies are characterized by elevated serum Immunoglobulin M (IgM) levels and a considerable deficiency in Immunoglobulins G (IgG), A (IgA) and E (IgE). As a consequence, people with HIGM have decreased concentrations of serum IgG and IgA and normal or elevated IgM, leading to increased susceptibility to infections.
Among the presentation consistent with hyper IgM syndrome are the following:
Different genetic defects cause HIgM syndrome, the vast majority are inherited as an X-linked recessive genetic trait and most sufferers are male.
IgM is the form of antibody that all B cells produce initially before they undergo class switching due to exposure to a recognized antigen. Healthy B cells efficiently switch to other types of antibodies as needed to attack invading bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens. In people with hyper IgM syndromes, the B cells keep making IgM antibodies because they can't switch to a different antibody. This results in an overproduction of IgM antibodies and an underproduction of IgA, IgG, and IgE.
CD40 is a co-stimulatory receptor on B cells that, when bound to CD40 ligand (CD40L), sends a signal to the B-cell receptor. When there is a defect in CD40, this leads to defective T-cell interaction with B cells. Consequently, humoral immune response is affected. Certain insults, usually from encapsulated bacteria and toxin, then have a greater opportunity to damage the body.
The diagnosis of hyper IgM syndrome can be done via the following methods and tests:
Five types of hyper IgM syndrome have been characterized:
In terms of treatment for hyper IgM syndrome, there is the use of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation. Additionally, anti-microbial therapy, use of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, immunosuppressants, as well as other treatments, may be needed.
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