Lack of correlation between nutritional status and seroprotection against influenza in a long term care facility

Scand J Infect Dis. 2006;38(10):894-7. doi: 10.1080/00365540600749984.


We conducted a prospective study in a long-term care facility. Virologic diagnosis was assessed using viral isolation, polymerase chain reaction and serology for all patients with a flu-like syndrome. Albumin, vitamins and trace elements were also measured.

Results: The risk of influenza increased 6.5-fold in patients with an antibody titer of 40 during the influenza outbreak (P=0.04). Micronutrients and vitamins deficiencies were important. Patients with antibody titer >1:40 could still be infected by the virus without correlation with the nutritional status.

Conclusion: Humoral protection with a titer >1:40 might not be protective in the elderly. Nutritional deficiencies were too prevalent to detect any effect on the results.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Influenza A virus / immunology
  • Influenza A virus / isolation & purification
  • Influenza B virus / immunology
  • Influenza B virus / isolation & purification
  • Influenza Vaccines / immunology*
  • Influenza, Human / prevention & control*
  • Long-Term Care
  • Male
  • Nasopharynx / virology
  • Nursing Homes
  • Nutritional Status / immunology*
  • Risk Factors


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Influenza Vaccines