The research by Koch and colleagues1
reported in this issue of THE JOURNAL addresses an important clinical question:
Why do some people get more infections than others? There are numerous examples
of genetically determined variations in the human immune system that influence
the ability to respond effectively to the challenges that microorganisms present.
The most obvious are the genetically determined primary immunodeficiency diseases.
These complete deficiencies of one or another component of the immune system,
such as X-linked agammaglobulinemia, markedly increase susceptibility to a
wide variety of infections.2 However, these
uncommon and dramatic deficiencies of the immune system are only 1 example
of genetically determined variations in the immune system that can lead to
increased susceptibility to infection.
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