Antibody response to vaccination and psychological stress in humans Relationships and mechanisms

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this review is to determine the effects of psychosocial stress on antibody response to vaccination in humans, consider possible mechanisms, and identify agenda for future research. Studies of the association between stress and vaccination response in humans were reviewed. There is evidence of a negative association between stress and antibody response to vaccination, which is most apparent with thymus-dependent vaccines and when measured at extended times after vaccination. Preliminary findings implicate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and sympathetic nervous system as potential mechanisms, although a role for unhealthy behaviours cannot be discounted at this stage. Results to date are sufficiently indicative to direct future research to untangling their theoretical ramifications, as well as realising their clinical implications.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2523-2534
Number of pages12
Issue number19-20
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2003


  • psychosocial stress, psychoneuroimmunology, antibody response to immunisation

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