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Psychosom Med. 2000 Nov-Dec;62(6):804-7.

Chronic stress modulates the immune response to a pneumococcal pneumonia vaccine.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular Virology, Immunology, and Medical Genetics, The Ohio State University, Columbus, USA. glaser.1@osu.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Influenza and pneumonia account for significant morbidity and mortality, particularly in older individuals. Previous studies have shown that spousal caregivers of patients with dementia have poorer antibody and virus specific T cell responses to an influenza virus vaccine relative to noncaregiving control subjects. This study tested the hypothesis that stress can also significantly inhibit the IgG antibody response to a pneumococcal bacterial vaccine.

METHOD:

We measured antibody titers of current caregivers, former caregivers, and control subjects after vaccination with a pneumococcal bacterial vaccine.

RESULTS:

Caregivers showed deficits relative to controls and former caregivers in their antibody responses to vaccination. Although the groups did not differ before vaccination or in the rise in antibody 2 weeks or 1 month after vaccination, current caregivers had lower antibody titers 3 and 6 months after vaccination than either former caregivers or controls.

CONCLUSIONS:

These data, the first evidence that chronic stress can inhibit the stability of the IgG antibody response to a bacterial vaccine for pneumonia, provide additional evidence of health risks associated with dementia caregiving.

PMID:
11139000
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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