Antibody and immunoglobulin levels in aged humans

Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 1984 Jul;3(2):175-88. doi: 10.1016/0167-4943(84)90009-8.


IgM and IgG type antibody titers and levels of serum IgG, IgA and IgM were determined in healthy young and aged subjects. The proportion of subjects of low antibacterial agglutinin titers progressively increased during the 7th and 8th decades of life. Anti-streptolysin-O titers were also shifted to the lower values in aged subjects, at least until the 8th decade of life, although subnormal values compared to the young control range were less frequent than in the case of IgM type antibodies. Anti-streptokinase values did not seem affected by age. In contrast to antibody levels, serum IgM was similar or slightly higher in old compared to young subjects. Evidence is presented that the proportion of 7 S IgM drops with aging. Both IgA and IgG levels increased through the 7th, 8th and 9th decades of life. Different class immunoglobulin levels seemed to be considerably correlated and a tendency to correlate was found between IgG type antibody and serum IgG levels. Complex investigations including quantitation of antibodies to extrinsic and intrinsic antigens and serum immunoglobulins are proposed to define the humoral immune status of aged subjects and to understand the causes as well as the diagnostic and prognostic significance of old age 'imbalances'.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging*
  • Antibodies / analysis*
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / analysis
  • Antibody Formation
  • Antistreptolysin / analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins / analysis*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Streptococcus / immunology


  • Antibodies
  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Immunoglobulins
  • antistreptokinase
  • Antistreptolysin