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J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2017 Sep 1;72(9):1163-1170. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glw216.

Cytomegalovirus Seropositivity Predicts a Decline in the T Cell But Not the Antibody Response to Influenza in Vaccinated Older Adults Independent of Type 2 Diabetes Status.

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Health Sciences North Research Institute, Sudbury, ON, Canada.
Research Center on Aging, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC, Canada.
Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
University of Connecticut Center on Aging, Farmington.
Second Department of Internal Medicine, University of Tübingen Medical School, Tübingen, Germany.
School of Science and Technology, College of Arts and Science, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK.


Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and persistent cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection are postulated contributors to inflammatory processes that impact on the age-related decline in T-cell responses to influenza vaccination. Older subjects with T2DM (n = 30) and healthy aged controls (n = 40) were enrolled and received influenza vaccination in this study. Serum inflammatory markers and CMV serostatus were measured. Pre- to post-vaccination changes in serum antibody titers to the A/H3N2 strain, and levels of granzyme B (GrB, cytotoxic T lymphocytes) in lysates and cytokines in supernatants from influenza A/H3N2-challenged peripheral blood mononuclear cells were measured. We found no difference between the T2DM and healthy groups in the immune responses measured. However, CMV serostatus was a key determinant of the GrB response to influenza challenge; CMV+ subjects had low levels of inducible GrB (iGrB) activity in response to influenza challenge. In contrast, the serum antibody response to the A/H3N2 vaccine strain did not differ with CMV serostatus, and serum levels of the inflammatory marker, β2-microglobulin, were positively correlated with age, T2DM, and serum IL-10 levels. In conclusion, CMV seropositivity associated with a decline in GrB responses to influenza may predict increased susceptibility to influenza in older adults.


Cytomegalovirus (CMV); Granzyme B; Influenza vaccination; Older adults; T cell

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