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Microbes Infect. 2001 Aug;3(10):851-7.

Immunosenescence and infectious diseases.

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Department of Internal Medicine and Public Health, University of L'Aquila, S. Sisto 22/E, 67100, L'Aquila, Italy.


Infectious diseases are major causes, with malignancies, of morbidity and mortality in the elderly. Increased susceptibility to infections may result from underlying dysfunction of an aged immune system; moreover, inappropriate immunologic functions associated with aging can determine an insufficient response to vaccines. Impairments of cellular, humoral and innate immunity in the elderly, contributing to increased incidence of infectious diseases, are discussed in this review.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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