Immunosenescence is defined as the progressive deterioration of the immune system with aging. Immunosenescence stifles the generation of protective B and T cell-mediated adaptive immunity in response to various pathogens, resulting in increased disease susceptibility and severity in the elderly population. In particular, immunosenescence has major impacts on the phenotype, function, and receptor repertoire of B and T cells in the elderly, hindering protective responses induced by seasonal influenza virus vaccination. In order to overcome the detrimental impacts of immunosenescence on protective immunity to influenza viruses, we review our current understanding of the effects of aging on adaptive immune responses to influenza and discuss current and future avenues of vaccine research for eliciting more potent anti-influenza immunity in the elderly.
Keywords: Aging; Antibody responses; B cells; Influenza; T cells; Vaccination.
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