Call (877) 283-7882877-283-7882 | Live chat | Mon–Fri 8 AM–4:30 PM ET | MY ACCOUNT

Private MD News

Home | News | Infectious Diseases

Immunity to viruses does not degrade over time

Category: Infectious Diseases

A recent study published in the journal PLoS Pathogens found that the body's T cells, which are responsible for warding off diseases, do not become less effective as people age, which has been a common misconception.

"For a long time, it was thought the elderly were at a higher risk of infections because they lacked these immune cells, but that simply isn't the case," said study investigator Jonathan Bramson, Ph.D. "The elderly are certainly capable of developing immunity to viruses."

During the study, scientists from McMaster University, the University of Toronto and the University of Pennsylvania analyzed subjects of diverse age groups who had contracted three different viruses, one of which was West Nile. The researchers discovered that the T cells' ability to fight diseases and the number of T cells were equal in all age groups.

Bramson reported that the research's findings may affect vaccines that are manufactured for elderly patients. Currently, inoculations for older individuals do not utilize T cell responses, which may explain why present flu vaccines do not provide adequate protection for older patients.

Boosting immunity
Besides vaccines, there are myriad ways that humans can help cultivate more effective immune systems so they can protect themselves from viruses, which, many times, can be detected with a lab test. Harvard Medical School (HMS) notes that people should try to abstain from smoking, exercise frequently, eat diets that are rich with fruits and vegetables as well as low in saturated fats, practice healthy sleeping habits, refrain from excessive drinking and keep healthy weights.

HMS also reports that some vitamins and nutrients have been proven to be effective in warding off certain ailments. For example, vitamin E has been shown to increase the antibody responses to hepatitis B and tetanus after a patient has received a vaccination. Also, vitamin D has been shown to help patients recover from tuberculosis. The source warns against commercial products that claim to bolster immunity.

Related Articles from Private MD:

Share on Facebook

Subscribe to Private MD Health News RSS Feed:

News Categories:

Advanced Lipid Treatment I   Allergy Testing   Anemia and RBC disorders   Autoimmune Diseases   Bariatric Lab Testing   Blood and Blood Diseases   Breast   Cancer Detection and Tumor Markers   Celiac Disease Testing   Chlamydia   Coagulation and blood clotting disorders   Colon   Diabetes   DNA, Paternity and Genetic testing   Drug Screening   Environmental Toxin Testing   Female Specific Tests   Gastrointestinal Diseases   General Health   General Wellness   Heart Health and Cholesterol   Herpes   HIV   HIV monitoring/Treatment/Testing/Post Diagnos   Hormones and Metabolism   Infectious Diseases   Infertility Testing-Male   Infertitlity Hormone Testing   Kidney Diseases   Leukemia and WBC disorders   Liver   Liver Diseases   Lyme Disease   Male Specific Tests   Menopause/Peri-Menopausal Diagnosis   Musculoskeletal Diseases   Nicotine Screening   Organ Specific Testing   Ovarian   Prostate   Sexually Transmitted Diseases   Thyroid Diseases   Transgender Hormone Testing-female to male   Transgender Hormone Testing-Male to Female   Vitamin D Deficiency-Diagnosis and Treatment   

Visit the Health News Archive: Click Here

Questions about online blood testing or how to order a lab test? Click here to get started or call us toll-free at 1.877.283.7882. Our professionals are ready to assist you.

Back to top