Long-term #maintenance of #diphtheria-specific #antibodies after booster #vaccination is hampered by latent #infection with #Cytomegalovirus (Immun Ageing, abstract)

[Source: Immunity & Ageing, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]


Long-term maintenance of diphtheria-specific antibodies after booster vaccination is hampered by latent infection with Cytomegalovirus

Birgit Weinberger, Michael Keller and Beatrix Grubeck-Loebenstein

Immunity & Ageing – 201714:16 – DOI: 10.1186/s12979-017-0099-y

© The Author(s). 2017

Received: 1 March 2017 – Accepted: 19 June 2017 – Published: 26 June 2017



Many currently used vaccines are less immunogenic in the elderly compared to young adults. The impact of latent infection with Cytomegalovirus (CMV) on vaccine-induced antibody responses has been discussed controversially. We have demonstrated that recall responses to diphtheria vaccination are frequently insufficient in elderly persons and that antibody concentrations decline substantially within 5 years. In the current study we show that within a cohort of healthy elderly (n = 87; median age 71 years, range 66–92) antibody responses to a booster vaccination against diphtheria do not differ between CMV-negative and CMV-positive individuals 4 weeks after vaccination.. However, the goal of diphtheria-vaccination is long-term protection and this is achieved by circulating anti-toxin antibodies. Diphtheria-specific antibody concentrations decline faster in CMV-positive compared to CMV-negative older adults leading to an increased proportion of persons without protective antibody concentrations 5 years after booster vaccination and endangering long-term protection. This finding could be relevant for vaccination schedules.

Keywords: Cytomegalovirus – Diphtheria – Antibody maintenance – Elderly

Keywords: Cytomegalovirus; Diphtheria; Vaccines.


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Giuseppe Michieli

I am an Italian blogger, active since 2005 with main focus on emerging infectious diseases such as avian influenza, SARS, antibiotics resistance, and many other global Health issues. Other fields of interest are: climate change, global warming, geological and biological sciences. My activity consists mainly in collection and analysis of news, public services updates, confronting sources and making decision about what are the 'signals' of an impending crisis (an outbreak, for example). When a signal is detected, I follow traces during the entire course of an event. I started in 2005 my blog ''A TIME'S MEMORY'', now with more than 40,000 posts and 3 millions of web interactions. Subsequently I added an Italian Language blog, then discontinued because of very low traffic and interest. I contributed for seven years to a public forum (FluTrackers.com) in the midst of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa in 2014, I left the site to continue alone my data tracking job.