Social support is positively associated with the immunoglobulin M response to vaccination with pneumococcal polysaccharides

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Evidence shows that psychosocial factors are associated with immunoglobulin G response to medical vaccinations. As yet, there are no reports of whether the earlier immunoglobulin M response is similarly susceptible. This study examined the association between psychological stress, social support and the immunoglobulin M response to vaccination with pneumococcal capsular polysaccharides. Stressful life events in the previous year and customary social support were measured by standard questionnaires at baseline in 74 healthy students (41 females). The response to five common pneumococcal serotypes was assessed at baseline and 5 days following vaccination. Social support, particularly tangible social support, was positively associated with the antibody response to two of five serotypes, after controlling for baseline titre. These associations survived adjustment for demographics and health behaviours. There was no association between life events stress and immunoglobulin M response. It appears that psychosocial factors affect both the immunoglobulin M and immunoglobulin G responses to vaccination.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-5
Number of pages5
JournalBiological Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2008


  • immunoglobulin M, pneumococcal vaccination, social support, life events, antibody response

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