Infection and immune response in the elderly

Ann Epidemiol. 1992 Nov;2(6):813-22. doi: 10.1016/1047-2797(92)90075-2.


A number of immunologic functions have been shown to decline in an age-related fashion, particularly cell-mediated immunity and antibody response to an immunogen. Underlying degenerative diseases and medications further contribute to the immunologic abnormalities noted in the elderly. The elderly in hospitals and nursing homes are a particularly vulnerable subset, with a high incidence of institutionally acquired infection. Aspects of disease prevention in the elderly are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antibody Formation
  • Cross Infection / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Infection Control
  • Infections / immunology*
  • Nursing Homes