The effect of exercise training on the kinetics of the antibody response to influenza vaccination in humans

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Colleges, School and Institutes


The significance of in vitro changes in immune function accompanying exercise training is unclear. To determine the effect of exercise on the response of the intact immune system to a challenge in vivo , we measured the speed and overall immunoglobulin G (IgG) response to influenza vaccination in humans engaged in different intensities of activity. Male participants ( n = 21) were split into heavy and light training groups. Venous blood samples were collected 0, 2, 4, 7, 10 and 14 days after vaccination with trivalent influenza vaccine, and also 12 months after initial vaccination. Serum IgG was determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay. There was a significant difference in baseline IgG between groups, but no difference in IgG concentration 14 days after vaccination. The IgG concentration remained elevated 12 months post-vaccination in the heavy training group. The results suggest a positive relationship between habitual physical activity and baseline antibody concentrations, which, in turn, affects the relative magnitude (fold or percentage increase) of the antibody response to vaccination. The training loads of the participants in this study had no effect on overall IgG measured 14 days after vaccination.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)991-1000
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2003


  • training impulse, immunoglobulin G, immunity, physical activity