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(ĭm″ū-nō-kŏm′pĕ-tĕns) The ability of the body's immune system to respond to pathogenic organisms and tissue damage. This ability may be diminished by drugs specifically developed to inhibit immune cell function, e.g., chemotherapeutic agents used to treat leukemia and drugs used to prevent organ transplant rejections, by diseases that attack elements of the immune system, or overwhelming infections. SEE: immunocompromised.


(i-mū″nō-kom′pĕt-ĕnt, im″yŭ-nō) [immuno- competent] Having an effective or intact immune response or immune system. immunocompetence (i-mū″nō-kom′pĕt-ĕns, im′yŭ-nō), n.


(ĭm″ū-nō-kŏm′prō-mīzd″) Pert. to or an immune system incapable of a normal, full reaction to pathogens or tissue damage, as the result of a disease (such as diabetes mellitus, overwhelming sepsis, or AIDS) or drug therapy with agents that inhibit components of the immune system.

image Live virus vaccinations should never be administered to immunocompromised persons.

SYN: immunodeficient. SEE: immune competence; immune system.


(ĭm″ū-nō-kŏn-gloo′tĭ-nĭn) [″ + conglutinare, to glue together] A protein used in the laboratory to assess the number of immune complexes in blood, which may be related to immunological activity. It acts by binding with complement factor 3, a significant part of an antigen-antibody immune complex.


(ĭm″ū-nō-sī″tōăd-hĕr′ĕns) A laboratory test used to identify antibody-bearing cells by the formation of rosettes composed of red blood cells and those cells bearing antibodies.


(im″yŭ-nō-dĕ-fish′ĕn-sē, im-ū″nō-dĕ-fish′ĕn-sē) Decreased or compromised ability to respond to antigenic stimuli with an appropriate immune response, as the result of one or more disorders in B-cell–mediated immunity, T-cell–mediated immunity, phagocytic cells, or complement. The immunodeficiency may be genetic or acquired following infections, drug abuse, multiple transfusions, immunosuppressive therapy, or malnutrition. Affected patients develop chronic infections that are difficult to treat and recur frequently; these infections frequently are caused by opportunistic organisms. Other findings related to the type and degree of deficiency in the immune system include failure to thrive, thrombocytopenia, and hepatosplenomegaly. Treatments vary depending on the underlying cause. They may include combinations of antiviral agents in the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; infusions of intravenous immune globulin in disorders of humoral immunity; bone marrow transplantation in patients with malignancies; and antibiotics that specifically treat active infections. Cytokine therapy and gene therapy may play a role in the treatment of patients with defined genetic defects. SYN: immune deficiency. SEE: acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; agammaglobulinemia. immunodeficient (im″yŭ-nō-dĕ-fish′ĕnt, im-ū″nō-dĕ-fish′ĕnt), adj.

common variable i. ABBR: CVID. A congenital immunodeficiency in which children are born with decreased or compromised ability to synthesize their own immunoglobulin A or IgG. CVID causes frequent respiratory infections. Prophylaxis is given to affected children with immunoglobulin replacement therapy.


(ĭm″ū-nō-dĕ-fĭsh′ĕnt) Immunocompromised.

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