The first National Conference on Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases (PIDs) being organised by the Indian Society for Primary Immune Deficiency (ISPID) and the Foundation for Primary Immune Deficiency Diseases (FPID),USA,began at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research,in Chandigarh today.
The conference was inaugurated by Jagannath Pahadia,Governor of Haryana. Speaking on the occasion,Dr V M Katoch,Secretary to Government of India,Department of Health Research and Director General,Indian Council of Medical Research,New Delhi,detailed the gaps in knowledge about PIDs amongst doctors in our country. Dr Yogesh Chawla,Director,PGIMER,emphasised on the work that needs to be done in this field. He also detailed the facilities for investigative work-up that are currently available in the institute. He emphasised upon the urgent need for establishing facilities for molecular diagnosis of PIDs in our country.
Dr R W Minz,Professor and Head,Deptartment of Immunopathology,PGIMER,who is also the chairperson of the conference,welcomed the dignitaries. Dr Biman Saikia,Additional Professor,Department of Immunopathology,PGIMER,proposed a vote of thanks.
Eminent speakers from USA,Belgium and Israel and several national experts graced the conference. It was attended by more than 100 delegates. The scientific session began with an introductory talk on the immune system by Prof Sudhir Gupta,Professor of Medicine,Pathology and Laboratory Medicine,University of California,Irvine,USA. He highlighted the major defects in immune system which can result in PIDs and also explained the algorithmic clinical approach to a patient with suspected PID. Dr Gupta also dwelt on a new PID which his group has recently described,viz Selective IgM deficiency.
Dr Adrian Liston,from Belgium,who is a renown authority on regulatory T cells,explained the complex interrelationship between regulatory T cells and effector T cells. Dr Amos Etzioni,from Israel,discussed the genetic basis,clinical profile and treatment of a distressing clinical condition – chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis.
Dr Surjit Singh shared his experience in diagnosing and managing children with PIDs at PGI. He highlighted the special issues which the physician has to take into consideration while dealing with such patients in the context of a developing country.
Dr Manisha Madkaikar described her experience from Mumbai in the field of PIDs. Dr N K Mehra talked about the genetic basis of the immune response.
Dr Biman Saikia gave a talk on the Hyper-IgE syndrome. This is a potentially life threatening condition but the symptoms can be ameliorated with appropriate management. PGI has several patients with this condition on long-term follow-up.
According to doctors,PIDs have been grossly under-recognised and under-diagnosed,not only in India but the world over.
Population-based surveys carried out by the Jeffrey Modell Foundation (JMF),USA and the Immune Deficiency Foundation,USA show that the prevalence of PIDs in the community may be as high as 1:1000. In India,there would be almost 1 million individuals with a PID.