IMMUNOGLOBULINS – INTRODUCTION
Immunoglobulins, also known as antibodies, are glycoprotein molecules produced by plasma cells (white blood cells). They act as a critical part of the immune response by specifically recognizing and binding to particular antigens, such as bacteria or viruses and aiding in their destruction. The antibody immune response is highly complex and exceedingly specific. The various immunoglobulin isotypes differ in their biological features, structure, target specificity and distribution. Hence the assessment of the immunoglobulin isotype can provide useful insight into complex humoral immune response.
IMMUNOGLOBULINS – INDICATION
It is the treatment of choice for patients with antibody deficiencies. For this indication, IVIG is used at a ‘replacement dose’ of 200–400 mg/kg body weight, given approximately 3-weekly. In contrast, ‘high dose’ IVIG (hdIVIG), given most frequently at 2 g/kg/month, is used as an ‘immunomodulatory’ agent in an increasing number of immune and inflammatory disorders. Initial use of hdIVIG was for immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) in children.
Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) is a blood product prepared from the serum of between 1000 and 15 000 donors per batch.
IMMUNOGLOBULINS – INFORMATION
Immunoglobulins (antibodies) are vitally important proteins which circulate in the blood and perform a wide variety of tasks. They influence markedly the balance of our immune system.
The predominant type of antibody in human blood is immunoglobulin G (IgG). The most important tasks are to neutralize and eliminate viruses and bacteria that enter the body, products of bacterial metabolism (toxins) and substances which are formed during inflammation in the body or when cells are destroyed.
On account of its structure, IgG is capable of binding to receptors (binding sites) on the surface of blood cells or to certain organ cells and of influencing the behavior of these cells. Cell proliferation and maturation, as well as the activity of cells of our immune system, are regulated in this way.
By binding to cells, immunoglobulins have an influence on the control of inflammatory processes, on the regeneration of destroyed tissues after injuries or surgical operations and also on the maintenance of organ functions. They are important for communication between our immune system and our nervous system, for the coagulation and for the system of blood vessels.
Immunoglobulin (also called gamma globulin or immune globulin) is a substance made from human blood plasma. The plasma, processed from donated human blood, contains antibodies that protect the body against diseases. When you are given an immunoglobulin, your body uses antibodies from other people’s blood plasma to help prevent illness. And even though immunoglobulins are obtained from blood, they are purified so that they can’t pass on diseases to the person who receives them.
Specific types of immunoglobulin are made to protect against specific diseases, such as hepatitis, chickenpox, or measles. Immunoglobulin injections may:
- Give short-term protection against or reduce the severity of certain diseases.
- Protect your fetus if you are pregnant and at risk for Rh sensitization.
- Decrease the immune system’s ability to attack body tissues in some cases of autoimmune disease.
- Help people who have an inherited problem making their own antibodies or those who are having treatment for certain types of cancer (such as leukemia). Treatments for some cancers can cause the body to stop producing its own antibodies, making immunoglobulin treatment necessary.