Objective: To determine if immune phenotypes associated with immunosenescence predict risk of respiratory viral infection in elderly nursing home residents.
Methods: Residents ≥ 65 years from 32 nursing homes in 4 Canadian cities were enrolled in Fall 2009, 2010 and 2011, and followed for one influenza season. Following influenza vaccination, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were obtained and analysed by flow cytometry for T-regs, CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell subsets (CCR7+CD45RA+, CCR7-CD45RA+ and CD28-CD57+) and CMV-reactive CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells. Nasopharyngeal swabs were obtained and tested for viruses in symptomatic residents. A Cox proportional hazards model adjusted for age, sex and frailty, determined the relationship between immune phenotypes and time to viral infection.
Results: 1072 residents were enrolled; median age 86 years and 72% female. 269 swabs were obtained, 87 were positive for virus: influenza (24%), RSV (14%), coronavirus (32%), rhinovirus (17%), human metapneumovirus (9%) and parainfluenza (5%). In multivariable analysis, high T-reg% (HR 0.41, 95% CI 0.20-0.81) and high CMV-reactive CD4+ T-cell% (HR 1.69, 95% CI 1.03-2.78) were predictive of respiratory viral infection.
Conclusions: In elderly nursing home residents, high CMV-reactive CD4+ T-cells were associated with an increased risk and high T-regs were associated with a reduced risk of respiratory viral infection.