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

Conclusion & Future Perspective

The aging of the immune system is probably the major determinant for susceptibility to diseases and may also be a cornerstone in sustaining chronic conditions due to the associated proinflammatory profile. In this context, putative alterations in T- and B-cell interaction is still poorly understood in pathological situations, as well as in subclinical situations, such as in age-associated low-grade inflammation. The role of cytokines/chemokines in driving different activation states, differentiation phenotypes and expression of costimulatory molecules is to be considered. Those inflammatory mediators are highly association with persistent infection. It is questionable whether the vaccination against such infection (e.g., CMV) would prove beneficial. Nevertheless, reducing the burden of such pathogens would certainly help in reducing the overall proinflammatory profile, especially in individuals at risk, such as diabetic patients.