Fading immune protection in old age: vaccination in the elderly

J Comp Pathol. 2010 Jan:142 Suppl 1:S116-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jcpa.2009.10.002. Epub 2009 Dec 2.


The function of the immune system declines with age, leading to an increased occurrence and severity of infectious diseases and a decreased response to vaccines. As the thymus gradually loses its ability to replenish the population of naïve T cells, the memory and effector T cells increase in number and dominate the repertoire. The changes in the naïve and memory T cell pool that occur with ageing in man are discussed here, along with a brief update of the knowledge of B cell populations in the elderly.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aging / immunology*
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Cellular Senescence / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Memory / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Vaccination*