Immunology and Infectious Disease

  • Edith A. Burns
  • James S. Goodwin


Immunologic function declines with age. Indeed, most physiologic functions decline with age. Why, then, has so much attention been given to the study of immunologic changes in elderly humans and laboratory animals? Immunologic function probably is the most intensively studied physiologic process in gerontology. Part of the reason has to do with the rapid growth in all aspects of immunologic research in the past 3 decades. In addition, immunocytes (lymphocytes, monocytes, and polymorphonuclear leukocytes) are the most easily obtained tissue specimens in humans. A tube of venous blood provides the immunologist with millions of cells with which to study antibody production, cytotoxicity, proliferation, migration, and other characteristics that are necessary for the continued health and survival of an organism.


Herpes Zoster Elderly Person Tuberculin Skin Test Tetanus Toxoid Pneumococcal Vaccine 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Makinodan T. Biology of aging: Retrospect and prospect. In: Makinodan T, Yunis E, eds. Immunology and Aging. New York, NY: Plenum Press, 1977: 1–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Erlich P. Uber den jetzigen stano der karzinomforschung. Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd 1909; 53: 273–290.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Burnet FM. The concept of immunological surveillance. Prog Exp Tumor Res 1970; 13: 1–27.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Thomas L. Reactions to homologous tissue antigens in relation to hypersensitivity. In: Lawrence HS, ed. Cellular and Humoral Aspects of the Hypersensitivity States. New York, NY: Hoeber-Harper; 1959: 529–532.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Roberts-Thompson IC, Whittingham S, Young-Chaiyud U, et al. Aging, immune response and mortality. Lancet 1974; 2: 368–370.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Abridged life tables by color and sex: United States, 1977. Monthly vital Stat Rep 1974; 4.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Murasko DM, Weiner P, Kaye D. Association of lack of mitogen-induced lymphocyte proliferation with increased mortality in the elderly. Aging: Immunol Infect Disease. 1988; 1: 1–6.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Goodwin JS, Searles RP, Tung KSK. Immunological responses of a healthy elderly population. Clin Exp Immunol 1982; 48: 403–410.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Wayne S, Rhyne R, Garry P, et al. Cell mediated immunity as a predictor of morbidity and mortality in the aged. J. Gerontol. In Press.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Minick CR, Murphy GE, Campbell WG. Experimental induction of athero-arteriosclerosis by the synergy of allergic injury to arteries and lipid rich diet. J Exp Med 1966; 124: 635–652.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Howard AN, Paterski J, Bowyer DE, et al. Atherosclerosis induced in hypercholesterolemic baboons by immunologic injury. Atherosclerosis 1971; 14: 17–29.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Clarkson RB, Alexander NJ. Long term vasectomy: effects on the occurrence and extent of atherosclerosis in rhesus monkeys. J Clin Invest 1980; 65: 15–25.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Ansbacher R, Keung-Yeung K, Wurster JC. Sperm antibodies in vasectomized men. Fertil Steril 1972; 23: 640–643.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Mackay IR, Whittingham SF, Mathews JD. The immunoepidemiology of aging. In: Makinodan T, Yunis E, eds. Immunology and Aging New York, NY: Plenum Press; 1977: 35–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Hess EV, Knapp D. The immune system and aging: a case of the cart before the horse. J Chronic Dis 1978; 31: 647–649.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Czlonkowska A, Korlak J. The immune response during aging. JGerontol 1979; 34: 9–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Inkeles B, Innes JB, Kuntz MM, et al. Immunological studies of aging, III: cytokinetic basis for the impaired response of lymphocytes from aged humans to plant lectins. JExp Med 1977; 145: 1176–1187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Goodwin JS, Messner RP. Sensitivity of lymphocytes to prostaglandin E2 increases in subjects over age 70. J Clin Invest 1979; 64: 434–439.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Portaro JK, Glick GI, Zighelboim J. Population immunity: age and immune cell parameters. Clin Immunol Immunopathol 1978; 11: 339–350.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Goodwin JS. Changes in lymphocyte sensitivity to prostaglandin E, histamine, hydrocortisone, and X-irradiation with age: studies in a healthy elderly population. Clin Immunol Immunopathol 1982; 25: 243–251.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Goodwin JS, Webb DR. Regulation of the immune response by prostaglandins: a critical review. Clin Immunol Immunopathol 1981; 15: 116–132.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Gillis S, Kozak R, Duranke M, et al. Immunological studies of aging: decreased production of and response to T cell growth factor by lymphocytes from aged humans. J Clin Invest 1981; 67: 937–942.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Negoro S, Hara H, Miyata S, et al. Mechanisms of age-related decline in antigen-specific T cell proliferative response: IL-2 receptor expression and recombinant IL-2 induced proliferative response of purified Tac-positive T cells. Mech Ageing Dev 1986; 36: 223–241.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Gilman SC, Rosenberg JS, Feldman JD. T lymphocytes of young and old rats. J Immunol 1982; 128: 644–650.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Wu W, Pahlavani M, Cheung HT, et al. The effect of aging on the expression of interleukin 2 messenger ribonucleic acid. Cell Immunol 1986; 100: 224–231.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Gutowski JK, Cohen S. Induction of DNA synthesis in isolated nuclei by cytoplasmic factors from spontaneously proliferating and mitogen-activated lymphoid cells. Cell Immunol 1983; 75: 300–311.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Gutowski JK, Inns JB, Weksler ME, et al. Impaired nuclear responsiveness to cytoplasmic signals in lympyhocytes from elderly humans with depressed proliferative responses. J Clin Invest 1986; 78: 40–43.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Lewis V, Twomey J, Bealmear P, et al. Age, thymic function and circulating thymic hormone activity. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1978; 47: 145–152.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Walford RL, Meridith PJ, Cheney KE. Immunoengineering: prospects for correction of age-related immunodeficiency states. In: Makinodan T, Yunis E, eds. Immunology and Aging. New York, NY: Plenum Press; 1977: 183–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Effros RB, Casillas A, Walford RL. The effect of thymosin-1 on immunity to influenza in aged mice. Aging: Immunol Infect Dis 1988; 1: 31–40.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Delafuente JC. Immunosenescence: clinical and pharmacologic considerations. Med Clin North Am 1985; 69: 475–486.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Howells CH, Vesselinova-Jenkins CK, Evans AD, et al. Influenza vaccination and mortality from bronchopneumonia in the elderly. Lancet 1975; 1: 381–83.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Ershler WB, Moore Al, Socinski MA. Influenza and aging: age-related changes and the effects of thymosin on the antibody response to influenza vaccine. J Clin Immunol 1984; 4: 445–454.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Kishimoto S, Tornino S, Mitsuya H, et al. Age-related decline in the in vitro and in vivo synthesis of anti-tetanus toxoid antibody in humans. J Immunol 1980; 125: 2347–2352.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Whittingham S, Buckley JD, Mackay IR. Factors influencing the secondary antibody response to flagellin in man. Clin Exp Immunol 1978; 34: 170–178.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Gerbase-Delima M, Wilkinson J, Smith G, et al. Age related decline in thymic-independent immune function in a long-lived mouse strain. J Gerontol 1974; 29: 26 1268.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Kishimoto S, Tornino S, Mitsuya H, et al. Age-related changes in suppressor functions of human T cells. J Immunol 1979; 123: 1586–1592.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Cueppens JL, Goodwin JS. Regulation of immunoglobulin production in pokeweed mitogen-stimulated cultures of lymphocytes from young and old adults. J Immuno11982; 128: 2429–2434.Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Rodriguez M, Cueppens J, Goodwin JS. Regulation of IgM rheumatoid factor production in lymphocyte cultures from young and old subjects. J Immunol 1982; 128: 2422–2428.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Friedman D, Globerson A. Immune reactivity during aging: analysis of the cellular mechanisms involved in the deficient antibody response in old mice. Mech Ageing Dey. 1978; 7: 299–310.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Callard R, Basten A, Blanden R. Loss of immune competence with age may be due to a qualitative abnormality in lymphocyte membranes. Nature 1979; 281: 218–221.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Kishimoto S, Tornino S, Mitsuya H, et al. Age-related decrease in frequencies of B-cell precursors and specific helper T cells involved in the IgG anti-tetanus toxoid antibody production in humans. Clin Immunol Immunopathol 1982; 25: 1–10.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Goodwin JS, Bankhurst AD, Messner RP. Suppression of human T cell mitogenesis by prostaglandin. J Exp Med 1977; 146: 1719–34.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Delfraissey J, Galanaud P, Wallon C, et al. Abolished in vitro antibody response in the elderly: exclusive involvement of prostaglandin-induced T suppressor cells. Clin Immunol Immunopathol 1982; 24: 377–385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Delespesse G, Gausset PH, Sarfati M, et al. Circulating immune complexes in old people and in diabetics: correlation with autoantibodies. Clin Exp Immunol 1980; 40: 96–102.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Hallgren H, Buckley C, Gilbertson V, et al. Lymphocyte phytohemagglutinin responsiveness, immunoglobulins, and autoantibodies in aging humans. J Immunol 1973; 111: 1101–1107.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Ader R, Cohen N. Conditioned immunopharmacologic responses. In: Ader R, ed. Psychoneuroimmunology. Orlando, Fla: Academic Press Inc; 1981: 281–317.Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Borysenko M, Borysenko J. Stress, behavior and immunity: animal models and mediating mechanisms. Gen Hosp Psychiatry 1982; 4: 59–67.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Rosenberg LT, Coe CL, Levine S. Complement levels in the squirrel monkey. Lab Anim Sci 1982; 32: 371–372.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Minter RE, Patterson-Kimball C. Life events and illness onset: a review. Psychosomatics 1978; 19: 334–339.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Glaser R, Thorn BE, Tarr KL, et al. Effects of stress on methyltransferase synthesis: an important DNA repair enzyme. Health Psych 1985; 4: 403–412.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Thomas PD, Goodwin JM, Goodwin JS. Effect of social support on stress-related changes in cholesterol level, uric acid level and immune function in an elderly sample. Am J Psych 1985; 142: 735–737.Google Scholar
  53. 53.
    Goodwin JS, Hunt WC, Kay CR, et al. The effect of marital status on stage, treatment and survival of cancer patients. JAMA 1987; 255: 3125–3130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Schleifer SJ, Keller SE, Camerino M, et al. Suppression of lymphocyte function following bereavement. JAMA 1983; 250: 374–377.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Glaser R, Kiecolt-Glaser JK, Speicher CE, et al. The relationship of stress and loneliness and changes in herpes virus latency. J Behav Med 1985; 8: 249–260.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Williams WW, Hickson MA, Kane MA, et al. Immunization policies and vaccine coverage among adults. Ann Intern Med 1988; 108: 616–625.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    ACIP. Prevention & control of Influenza: Part I, Vaccines. MMWR 1989; 38: 297–311.Google Scholar
  58. 58.
    Barker WH, Mullooly JP. Pneumonia and influenza deaths during epidemics: implications and prevention. Arch Intern Med 1982; 142: 85–89.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. 59.
    Mathur U, Bentley DW, Hall CB, et al. Influenza A/ Brazi1/78(H1N1) infection in the elderly. Am Rev Respir Dis 1981; 123: 633–635.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    Hall WN, Goodman RA, Noble GR, et al. An outbreak of influenza B in an elderly population. J Infect Dis 1981; 144: 297–302.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. 61.
    Douglas RG Jr. Amantadine as an antiviral agent in influenza. N Engl J Med 1982; 307: 617–618.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. 62.
    Gross PA, Quinnan GV, Rodstein M, et al. Association of influenza immunization with reduction in mortality in an elderly population. Arch Intern Med 1988; 148: 562–565.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. 63.
    Arden NH, Patriarca PA, Kendal AP. Experiences in the use and efficacy of inactivated influenza vaccine in nursing homes. In: Kendal AP, Patriarca PA, eds. Options for the Control of Influenza. New York, NY: Alan R Liss Inc; 1986: 155–168.Google Scholar
  64. 64.
    Sullivan RJ Jr, Dowdle WR, Marine WM, et al. Adult pneumonia in a general hospital. Arch Intern Med 1972; 129: 935–942.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. 65.
    Ebright JR, Rytel MW. Bacterial pneumonia in the elderly. J Am Geriatr Soc 1980; 28: 220–223.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  66. 66.
    Johanson WB, Pierce AK, Sanford JP, et al. Nosocomial respiratory infections with gram-negative bacilli: the significance of colonization of the respiratory tract. Ann Intern Med 1972; 77: 701–706.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  67. 67.
    Irwin RS, Whitaker S, Pratter MR, et al. The transiency of oropharyngeal colonization with gram-negative bacilli in residents of a skilled nursing facility. Chest 1982; 81: 31–35.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. 68.
    McFadden JP, Price RC, Eastwood HD, et al. Raised respiratory rate in elderly patients: a valuable physical sign. Br Med J 1982; 284: 626–627.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. 69.
    Austrian R, Gold J. Pneumococcal bacteremia with especial reference to bacteremic pneumococcal pneumonia. Ann Intern Med 1964; 60: 759–776.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  70. 70.
    Forrester HL, Jahnigen DW, LaForce FM. Inefficacy of pneumococcal vaccine in a high-risk population. Am J Med 1987; 83: 425–430.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. 71.
    Simberkoff MS, Cross AP, Al-Ibrahim M, et al. Efficacy of pneumococcal vaccine in high-risk patients: results of a Veterans Administration Cooperative Study. N Engl J Med 1986; 315: 1318–1327.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. 72.
    Sims RV, Steinmann WC, McConville JH, et al. The clinical effectiveness of pneumococcal vaccine in the elderly. Ann Intern Med 1988; 108: 653–657.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  73. 73.
    Stead WW, Lofgren JP, Warren E, et al. Tuberculosis as an endemic and nosocomial infection among the elderly in nursing homes. N Engl J Med 1985; 312: 1483–1487.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. 74.
    Stead WW, To T. The significance of the tuberculin skin test in elderly persons. Ann Intern Med 1987; 107: 837–42.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  75. 75.
    Slavin RE, Walsh Ti, Pollack AD. Late generalized tuberculosis: clinical pathologic analysis and comparison of 100 cases in the preantibiotic and antibiotic era. Medicine 1980; 59: 352–366.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. 76.
    Stead WW, To T, Harrison RW, et al. Benefit-risk considerations in preventive therapy for tuberculosis in elderly persons. Ann Intern Med 1987; 107: 843–845.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  77. 77.
    Dutt AK, Moers D, Stead WW. Short-course chemotherapy for extrapulmonary tuberculosis: nine years’ experience. Ann Intern Med 1986; 104: 7–12.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  78. 78.
    Hontanosas A, Cohen Z, Rudman D. Bactermia in a veteran’s administration extended care facility. Prog Clin Biol Res 1988; 264: 243–253.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  79. 79.
    McCue JD. Gram-negative bacillary bacteremia in the elderly: incidence, ecology, etiology, and mortality. J Am Geriatr Soc 1987; 35: 213–218.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  80. 80.
    Saviteer SM, Samsa GP, Rutala WA. Nosocomial infections in the elderly: increased risk per hospital day. Am J Med 1988; 84: 661–666.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. 81.
    Ayliffe GAJ, Brightwell KM, Collins BJ, et al. Surveys of hospital infection in the Birmingham region, I: effect of age, sex, length of stay and antibiotic use on nasal carriage of tetracycline-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and on postoperative wound infection. J Hyg (Camb) 1977; 79: 299–314.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. 82.
    Ragozzino MW, Melton LJ III, Kurland LT, et al. Population-based study of herpes zoster and its sequelae. Medicine 1982; 61: 310–316.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. 83.
    Burke BL, Steele RW, Beard OW, et al. Immune responses to varicella-zoster in the aged. Arch Intern Med 1982; 142: 291–293.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  84. 84.
    Jellinek EH, Tulloch WS. Herpes zoster with dysfunction of bladder and anus. Lancet 1976; 2: 1291–1222.Google Scholar
  85. 85.
    Mazur MH, Dolin R. Herpes zoster at the NIH: a 20 year experience. Am J Med 1978; 65: 738–744.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. 86.
    Ragozzino MW, Melton LJ III, Kurland LT, et al. Risk of cancer after herpes zoster: a population-based study. N Engl J Med 1982; 307: 393–397.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. 87.
    Keczkes K, Basheer AM. Do corticosteroids prevent post-herpetic neuralgia? Br J Dermatol 1980; 102: 551–555.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. 88.
    Kernbaum S, Hauchecorne J. Administration of levodopa for relief of herpes zoster pain. JAMA 1981; 246: 132–134.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. 89.
    Karzon DT, Edwards KM. Diphtheria outbreaks in immunized populations. N Engl J Med 1988; 318: 41–43.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. 90.
    Gallo RC, Wong-Staal F. A human T-lymphotrophic retrovirus (HTLV-III) as the cause of AIDS. Ann Intern Med 1985; 103: 679–689.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  91. 91.
    Curran JW, Jaffe HW, Hardy AM, et al. Epidemiology of HIV and AIDS in the United States. Science 1988; 293: 610–616.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. 92.
    Chamberland ME, Castro KG, Haverkos HW, et al. Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome in the United States: an analysis of cases outside high-incidence groups. Ann Intern Med 1984; 101: 617–623.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  93. 93.
    McCormick A, Tillett H, Bannister B, et al. Surveillance of AIDS in the United Kingdom. Br Med J 1987; 295: 1466–1469.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  94. 94.
    Baker L, Kelen GD, Sivertson KT, et al. Unsuspected human immunodeficiency virus in critically ill emergency patients. JAMA 1987; 257: 2609–2611.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  95. 95.
    Lennox, JL, Redfield RI, Burke DS. HIV Antibody screening in a general hospital population. JAMA 1987; 257: 2914.Google Scholar
  96. 96.
    Steel M. IVth International AIDS Conference. Lancet 1988; 2: 54–55.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  97. 97.
    McCay C, Crowell M, Maynard L. The effects of retarded growth upon the length of life span and upon the ultimate body size. J Nutr 1935; 10: 63–79.Google Scholar
  98. 98.
    Duchateau J, Servais G, Vreyens R, et al. Modulation of immune response in aged humans through different administration modes of thymopentin. Sur’ Immunol Res 1985; 4: (suppl 1): 94–101.Google Scholar
  99. 99.
    Ershler WB, Moore AL, Hacker MP, et al. Specific antibody synthesis in vitro, II: age-associated thymosin enhancement of antitetanus antibody synthesis. Immunopharmacology 1984; 8: 69–77.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  100. 100.
    Goodwin JS, Bankhurst A, Murphy S, et al. Partial reversal of the cellular immune defect in common variable immunodeficiency with indomethacin. J Clin Lab Immunol 1978; 1: 197–199.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  101. 101.
    Cueppens J Rodriguez M, Goodwin JS. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs inhibit the production of IgM rheumatoid factor in vitro. Lancet 1982; 1: 528–531.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edith A. Burns
  • James S. Goodwin

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations