Education And Debate

Recent Advances: Clinical immunology

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: (Published 08 June 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:1465
  1. Tom Eirik Mollnes, professor (tomeirik{at},
  2. Morten Harboe, professorb
  1. a Department of Immunology and Transfusion Medicine, Nordland Central Hospital, University of Tromso, N-8017 Bodo, Norway
  2. b Institute of Immunology and Rheumatology, Rikshospitalet, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
  1. Correspondence to: Dr Mollnes.


    Summary points

    • The genetic basis for many types of hereditary immunodeficiency has now been found, allowing more precise diagnosis and giving hope for future treatments

    • Manipulation of proteins that regulate complement activation has exciting therapeutic implications, such as ameliorating the hyperacute rejection of xenografts

    • Deficiencies in complement regulators have been implicated in several types of kidney disease, and soluble complement receptor 1 may be useful in future treatments

    • Intravenous immunoglobulin is now used to treat several systemic inflammatory conditions, and its effects include modulating proinflammatory cytokines and complement activation

    • Use of new technologies is allowing development of more effective vaccines and avoidance of adverse effects such as found with whole cell pertussis vaccine

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