Effects Of Eccentric Exercise On The Antibody Response To A Highly Immunogenic Influenza Vaccine

Research output: Contribution to journalAbstract


It has been demonstrated that an acute bout of exercise prior to vaccination can improve the subsequent immune response. However, the mechanisms underpinning this adjuvant effect remain unknown, and further investigation to determine the optimal exercise protocol is warranted.PURPOSE: To determine whether the timing of eccentric arm exercise prior to vaccination influences the magnitude of the adjuvant effect on the antibody response to influenza vaccine.METHODS: 155 healthy participants (75 males, 80 females) were randomly assigned to a control group or one of three groups exercising immediately, 6 hours or 48 hours prior to influenza vaccination. The exercise groups performed eccentric arm exercise of the deltoid and biceps brachii muscles for approximately 20 minutes, at an intensity eliciting 85% of each participants' one repetition maximum. Serum antibody titres were measured at baseline and at 28 days post-vaccination. Plasma creatine kinase (CK) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) were measured at baseline and at the time of vaccination.RESULTS: Analyses of variance indicated that the exercise groups exhibited significant increases in bicep (p <.001) and forearm (p <.001) circumference, self-reported arm pain (p <.001), and plasma markers of muscle damage (CK; p <.05) and inflammation (IL-6; p <.05). However, there were no significant differences between groups in the antibody responses to the A/Wisconsin, A/Solomon or B/Malaysia viral strains of influenza (all p>.05). Comparatively, all strains induced larger antibody responses than those exhibited by antigens in previous exercise and vaccination studies.CONCLUSION: Eccentric arm exercise did not improve the antibody response to influenza vaccination. It is possible that the relative magnitude of the antibody response produced by each strain superseded any potential effect of exercise. This explanation is consistent with previous research which indicates that exercise may have a beneficial effect when the antigen has a lower immunogenic response. Future research should investigate the effect of exercise on the immune response to vaccines with lower immunogenicity.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-277
Number of pages2
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Issue numberSupplement 1
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2009