Intrinsic defects in B cell response to seasonal influenza vaccination in elderly humans

Daniela Frasca, Alain Diaz, Maria Romero, Ana Marie Landin, Mitchell L Phillips, Suzanne C. Lechner, John G. Ryan, Bonnie B. Blomberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

114 Scopus citations


We have evaluated the serum response to seasonal influenza vaccination in subjects of different ages and associated this with the specific B cell response to the vaccine in vitro. Although the serum response has previously been shown to decrease with age, this has largely been associated to decreased T cell functions. Our results show that in response to the vaccine, the specific response of B cells in vitro, as measured by AID (activation-induced cytidine deaminase), the in vivo serum HI (hemagglutination inhibition) response, and the in vivo generation of switch memory B cells are decreased with age, as evaluated in the same subjects. This is the first report to demonstrate that intrinsic B cell defects with age contribute to reduced antibody responses to the influenza vaccine. The level of AID in response to CpG before vaccination can also predict the robustness of the vaccine response. These results could contribute to developing more effective vaccines to protect the elderly as well as identifying those most at risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8077-8084
Number of pages8
Issue number51
StatePublished - Nov 29 2010


  • Aging
  • B lymphocytes
  • Immunoglobulin class switch recombination
  • Influenza vaccination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • veterinary(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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