Immune response to influenza vaccine in healthy elderly: lack of association with plasma beta-carotene, retinol, alpha-tocopherol, or zinc.Mech Ageing Dev 2000; 117(1-3):29-45MA
Immunity and nutritional status are compromised with age, yet the relationship between them is unclear. Immune responses and plasma micronutrient levels of 61 healthy elderly (mean 81 years) and 27 young (mean 27 years) were assessed before and after immunization with trivalent influenza vaccine (FLU). FLU-induced proliferation and IFN-gamma levels of elderly were lower than young before and after immunization. Proliferation and IFN-gamma levels increased after immunization of young, but not elderly. FLU-induced IL-6 and IL-10 levels did not change after immunization of either group. While antibody titers to all three FLU components increased after vaccination of young and elderly, post-vaccination titers of elderly were lower than young. Although plasma retinol and zinc levels of young and elderly were similar before and after vaccination, elderly had higher plasma beta-carotene and alpha-tocopherol levels at both assessments that increased after vaccination. Importantly, plasma micronutrient levels were comparable for elderly with or without intact (titers >/=40 and fourfold rise post-vaccination) antibody responses after vaccination. These results suggest that differences in these plasma micronutrients (1) are not required to observe decreased FLU responses of healthy elderly compared to young and (2) are not associated with differences in antibody responses among healthy elderly.