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Brain Behav Immun. 2010 Feb;24(2):236-42. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2009.10.001. Epub 2009 Oct 8.

The effects of vaccine timing on the efficacy of an acute eccentric exercise intervention on the immune response to an influenza vaccine in young adults.

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Behavioural Medicine Group, School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK.

Erratum in

  • Brain Behav Immun. 2011 Jan;25(1):174.


An acute bout of exercise prior to vaccination can improve the antibody and cell-mediated responses to influenza vaccination. The mechanisms underpinning this adjuvant effect remain unclear, and further investigation to determine the optimal exercise protocol is warranted. The aim of the current study was to determine whether exercise augmented the immune response to vaccination, and whether the timing of exercise relative to vaccination affected the efficacy of the intervention. One hundred and fifty-six (76 men) healthy participants were randomly assigned to a control group or one of three intervention groups who exercised immediately, 6h or 48 h prior to administration of a standard trivalent influenza vaccine. The exercise groups performed 50 repetitions of the eccentric portion of both the bicep curl and lateral raise movements at an intensity eliciting 85% of each participant's pre-determined concentric one repetition maxima. Antigen-specific serum antibody titres were measured at baseline and 28 days post-vaccination as indicators of the humoral response. All three viral strains elicited strong antibody responses; however, eccentric exercise did not further augment any antibody responses compared to the control group. Cell-mediated immunity at 28 days post-vaccination was determined by measuring the IFN-gamma response to in vitro stimulation of the blood with whole vaccine. There were no differences in cell-mediated immunity among the groups. Although these null findings were unexpected, they are consistent with previous research showing that exercise-induced immunoenhancement was only observed when the control group had relatively poor responses. In conclusion, it is likely that the robust immune responses to the vaccine observed in this study may have limited any further immune enhancement by exercise.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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