Patient-centred screening for primary immunodeficiency: a multi-stage diagnostic protocol designed for non-immunologists


Esther de Vries, Department of Paediatrics, Jeroen Bosch Hospital (loc GZG), PO Box 90153, 5200 ME ’s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands.


Efficient early identification of primary immunodeficiency disease (PID) is important for prognosis, but is not an easy task for non-immunologists. The Clinical Working Party of the European Society for Immunodeficiencies (ESID) has composed a multi-stage diagnostic protocol that is based on expert opinion, in order to increase the awareness of PID among doctors working in different fields. The protocol starts from the clinical presentation of the patient; immunological skills are not needed for its use. The multi-stage design allows cost-effective screening for PID within the large pool of potential cases in all hospitals in the early phases, while more expensive tests are reserved for definitive classification in collaboration with an immunologist at a later stage. Although many PIDs present in childhood, others may present at any age. The protocols presented here are therefore aimed at both adult physicians and paediatricians. While designed for use throughout Europe, there will be national differences which may make modification of this generic algorithm necessary.