What is autoimmunity?

Autoimmunity simply means self-immunity. It is an often lifelong attack on the body by its own immune system.

The underlying problem in all autoimmunity is similar: the immune system falsely recognizes the body's own cells as invaders and attacks them.

The assaults by the immune system can affect every organ of the human body, and are usually lifelong. Sometimes, many parts of the body may be affected simultaneously. This is typical of autoimmune rheumatic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

Early diagnosis is essential in the management of autoimmune diseases. Identifying an autoimmune disease in its early stages offers the best chance to prevent or delay irreversible damage to the target organs or tissues.

To aid the diagnosis of these most poorly understood diseases as early as possible, Thermo Fisher Scientific ImmunoDiagnostics, formerly Phadia, offers high-quality blood tests for the detection of disease-specific autoantibodies.