The Immune System in the Elderly: A Fair Fight Against Diseases?

Anis Larbi; Paulina Rymkiewicz; Anusha Vasudev; Ivy Low; Nurhidaya Binte Shadan; Seri Mustafah; Shamini Ayyadhury; Tamas Fulop


Aging Health. 2013;9(1):35-47. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


The immune system is a very dynamic network, consisting of various innate and adaptive cells acting via direct cell–cell contact, as well as indirect messaging mediated by soluble factors. Changes in the number or quality of receptors involved in these events alter the capacity of the immune system to respond properly. There is an increasing awareness that many chronic infections and diseases, such as cytomegalovirus, impact on the immune system. Concurrently, there are changes in immune profiles of healthy, as well as ill, elderly individuals. All these changes translate into obvious signs of immunological aging that are more profound in diseases. This review will discuss the manifestation of different diseases in the elderly and how the immune system behaves in such situations.