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J Strength Cond Res. 2007 Feb;21(1):86-90.

Salivary immunoglobulin A response to a collegiate rugby game.

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Truman State University, Kirksville, Missouri 63501, USA.


Transient fluctuations in immune function after heavy exercise have been linked to an increased incidence of infection in athletes. Several parameters of immunity, including salivary immunoglobulin A (IgA), are affected by heavy exercise in the laboratory setting. However, few observations have been made during true competition. We tested the hypothesis that salivary IgA levels will be decreased after a collegiate rugby game. Saliva samples obtained from 16 men's college rugby players before and after an 80-minute regulation rugby game were analyzed for total volume, IgA, total protein content, and osmolality. Salivary IgA was expressed relative to secretion rate (s-IgA), osmolality (IgA-Osm), and total protein (IgA-Pro). No significant pregame-postgame changes in salivary IgA were observed (s-IgA: -13%, IgA-Osm: -16%, IgA-Pro: +10%). These data indicate that strenuous physical activity, such as a competitive rugby game, does not affect IgA levels. More study on the immune response to athletic competition is needed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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