Treatment of Autoimmune Diseases with Therapeutic Antibodies: Lessons Learned from PID Patients Allow for Stratification of the Infection Risk

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


Over the years, a wide variety of therapeutic antibodies has been successfully introduced in the autoimmunology clinic and many more are on the edge to follow. Many of these treatments address either a pathogenic circulating molecule or a cell-bound molecule. Whereas the former target results in neutralization of the soluble factor, the latter target either inhibits cellular function or induces selective cell death. If this targeted molecule or cell is part of the immune system, this therapy evokes a state of immunodeficiency. Knowing the exact function of the respective components enables the risk stratification for possible infectious complications in patients treated with biologics. Much of the understanding of the function of immune cells and their associated molecules, in relation to redundancy in the immune system, is derived from studies in knockout mice. However, as mice are not men in terms of their life-expectancy, their infection exposure, or the composition of their immune system, the most useful knowledge for estimating the consequence of therapeutic intervention on immune competence comes from monitoring patients. In the current chapter, we focus on patients with a primary immunodeficiency (PID) because they provide us with a unique perspective to estimate the redundancy of a certain genetic defect for overall immune competence. These patients have inborn errors of the immune system that, in general, are due to single gene defects. Depending on the immunological pathway that is defective, patients can present with different types of (opportunistic) infectious diseases, as well as other clinical manifestations. Based on selected examples, we focus in this chapter on finding parallels in the infectious risk of autoimmune patients treated with biologics and PID patients with a defect in the immunological pathway that is affected by the respective biologic. The goal is to learn from the (dis)similarities between both patient populations in terms of safety profiles of biologic treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTherapeutic Antibodies
Subtitle of host publicationMethods and Protocols
EditorsGunnar Houen
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-0716-1450-1
ISBN (Print)978-1-0716-1449-5
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Publication series

SeriesMethods in Molecular Biology


  • Animals
  • Autoimmune Diseases/therapy
  • Biological Products
  • Disease Susceptibility
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes/therapy
  • Infections
  • Mice


Dive into the research topics of 'Treatment of Autoimmune Diseases with Therapeutic Antibodies: Lessons Learned from PID Patients Allow for Stratification of the Infection Risk'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this