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Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1969, from comb. form of immune + deficiency.


n. A depletion in the body's natural immune system, or in some component of it.


n. immunological disorder in which some part of the body's immune system is inadequate and resistance to infectious diseases is reduced


Immunodeficiency (or immune deficiency) is a state in which the immune system's ability to fight infectious disease is compromised or entirely absent. Most cases of immunodeficiency are acquired ("secondary") due to extrinsic factors that affect the patient's immune system. Examples of these extrinsic factors include infections, such as by Human Immunodeficiency virus (HIV), extremes of age and environmental factors, such as nutrition. In the clinical setting, the immuno-suppression quality of some drugs, such as steroids, can be utilised. Examples of such use is in transplant surgery as an anti-rejection measure and in patients suffering from an over-active immune system. Some people are born with defects in their immune system, or primary immunodeficiency. A person who has an immunodeficiency of any kind is said to be immunocompromised. An immunocompromised person may be particularly vulnerable to opportunistic infections, in addition to normal infections that could affect everyone. Immunodeficiency may also decrease cancer immunosurveillance

Usage examples of "immunodeficiency".

About five thousand types of virus are known, and between them they afflict us with many hundreds of diseases, ranging from the flu and common cold to those that are most invidious to human well-being: smallpox, rabies, yellow fever, ebola, polio, and the human immunodeficiency virus, the source of AIDS.

It is better known as the human immunodeficiency virus, HIV for short, and it is extremely contagious.

With AIDS, you get HIV-Human Immunodeficiency Virus-and then maybe a few years later, it blossoms into full-blown Advanced Immune Deficiency Syndrome, putting the sufferer at risk for contracting fatal cancers or flus.

My crew has to work under very tight restraints, using Class One containment techniques, as with the old immunodeficiency plagues.

The viruses that caused the immunodeficiency plagues are used for gene therapy now.

Monet came into the country in the summer of 1979, around the time that human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, which causes AIDS, made a final breakout from the rain forest of central Africa and began its long burn through the human race.

In the year 2002, three million people died of AIDS, which is caused by human immunodeficiency virus.

For a disease called severe combined immunodeficiency, SCIDS, the body wasn't producing a protein called adenosine deaminase (ADA).