Is Selective IgA Deficiency a Risk Factor for Recurrent Infections With Asthma?

An Egyptian study of patients with asthma assessed the prevalence of selective IgA deficiency and its correlation to recurrent infections in these patients.

Selective immunoglobulin A (IgA) deficiency is a probable risk factor for recurrent chest infections in patients with asthma, according to a study published in the Journal of Asthma and Allergy.

While the mechanisms underlying increased risk of microbial infections in asthmatic patients are unknown, studies suggest that asthma is associated with impaired innate and adaptive immunity, thereby increasing susceptibility to infection. Study investigators hypothesized that increased risk of microbial infections in patients might also be due to an underlying primary immunodeficiency, such as the existence of selective IgA deficiency.

Researchers in Egypt assessed the prevalence of selective IgA deficiency and its correlation to recurrent infections in patients with asthma by conducting a case–control study in 80 subjects divided into 3 groups: 1) group A, with 20 asthmatic patients with recurrent chest infections; 2) group B, with 20 asthmatic patients without recurrent chest infections; and 3) group C, with 40 healthy controls. In comparing the 3 groups, researchers found that the mean serum IgA was lower in group A and B than in group C to a statistically significant degree (P ≤.001). In addition, the mean serum IgA level was significantly lower in group A than in group B and C (P <.002 and <.001, respectively). In addition, although the percentage of selective IgA deficiency or partial IgA deficiency in asthmatic patients was 56% (26 patients), group A showed a statistically significant higher percentage of selective/partial IgA deficiency.

Researchers said their results suggest a correlation between serum IgA levels and recurrent infections in patients with asthma. They recommended that future larger studies be conducted to further investigate the association between selective IgA deficiency and asthma and to assess whether asthma is a predisposing factor or a phenotypic subgroup of selective IgA deficiency.


Abo Ali FH, Mahmoud NE, El-Sayed AYM, Abdelmaksoud MF, Shata AK, Fouad SH. Selective IgA deficiency a probable risk of recurrent chest infections in asthmatics. J Asthma Allergy. 2021;14:1323-33. doi:10.2147/JAA.S329531