OBJECTIVE: To determine if acute stress experienced at the time of antigenic challenge augments the subsequent immune response. METHODS: Sixty healthy young adults were randomized to exercise (n = 20), mental stress (n = 20) or control (n = 20) before meningococcal A+C vaccination. Antibody concentration was measured by microsphere-based antibody quantification assay at prevaccination, 4 and 20 weeks post vaccination. RESULTS: Meningococcal serogroup A antibody responses were enhanced by exercise and mental stress in men but not women (F(2,51) = 4.00, p = .02, eta(2) = 0.135). CONCLUSIONS: Stress-induced immune enhancement has now been demonstrated in the antibody response to thymus-independent as well as thymus-dependent vaccines. These findings indicate that this effect is not specific to T-cell involvement.
- meningococcal vaccination
- acute stress