Your immune system is a complex network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to defend against germs. It helps your body to recognize these “foreign” invaders. Then its job is to keep them out, or if it can’t, to find and destroy them.
If your immune system cannot do its job, the results can be serious. Disorders of the immune system include
- Allergy and asthma – immune responses to substances that are usually not harmful
- Immune deficiency diseases – disorders in which the immune system is missing one or more of its parts
- Autoimmune diseases – diseases causing your immune system to attack your own body’s cells and tissues by mistake
NIH: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Complement component 8 deficiency is a disorder that causes the immune system to malfunction, resulting in a form of immunodeficiency. Immunodeficiencies are conditions in which the immune system is not able to protect the body effectively from foreign invaders such as bacteria. People with complement component 8 deficiency have a significantly increased risk of recurrent bacterial infections, particularly by a bacterium called Neisseria meningitidis. Infection by this bacterium causes inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord (meningitis). Although meningitis can be life-threatening, individuals with complement component 8 deficiency are less likely to die from the infection than people in the general population who contract it.The severity of complement component 8 deficiency varies widely. While some people with this condition experience one or more infections, others do not have any health problems related to the disorder.There are two types of complement component 8 deficiency, types I and II, classified by their genetic cause. The two types have the same signs and symptoms.