Secondary immunodeficiencies are more common than primary immunodeficiencies and frequently occur as a result of underlying disease processes or from the treatment of these diseases. Common causes of secondary immunodeficiencies include malnutrition, chronic stress, burns, uremia, diabetes mellitus, certain auto-immune disorders, certain viruses, exposure to immunotoxic med-ications and chemicals, and self-administration of recreational drugs and alcohol. AIDS, the most common secondary immuno-deficiency disorder. Patients with secondary immunodeficiencies have immunosuppression and are often referred to as immunocompromised hosts.
Management of secondary immunodeficiencies includes diagno-sis and treatment of the underlying disease process. Interventions include eliminating the contributing factors, treating the under-lying condition, and using sound principles of infection control.