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Age-related changes in the natural killer cell response to seasonal influenza vaccination are not influenced by a synbiotic; a randomised controlled trial

Przemska-Kosicka, A., Childs, C. E., Maidens, C., Dong, H., Todd, S., Gosney, M. A., Tuohy, K. M. and Yaqoob, P. (2018) Age-related changes in the natural killer cell response to seasonal influenza vaccination are not influenced by a synbiotic; a randomised controlled trial. Frontiers in Immunology, 9. 591. ISSN 1664-3224

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To link to this item DOI: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.00591


Natural killer (NK) cells play a role in the response to influenza infection, but are subject to alteration during ageing, which may impair response to infection and vaccination in older people. Enhancement of NK cell activity could, therefore, present a means to improve the immune response to vaccination in older subjects, and pre- and probiotics offer a potential strategy to modulate anti-viral defences by modifying the gut microbiota. This study investigated the effect of a novel probiotic, Bifidobacterium longum bv. infantis CCUG 52486, combined with a prebiotic, gluco-oligosaccharide (B. longum + Gl-OS), on the NK cell response to seasonal influenza vaccination in young and older subjects in a double-blind, randomized controlled trial. There were significant effects of ageing on NK cell phenotype, the most notable of which were an increase in CD56dim cells, mainly reflected in the CD16+ subset, a decrease in CD56bright cells, mainly reflected in the CD16- subset, and greater expression of the immunosenescence marker, CD57, on NK cell subsets. However, these changes only partially translated to differences in NK cell activity, observed as trends towards reduced NK cell activity in older subjects when analysed on a per cell basis. Influenza vaccination increased the proportion of CD56bright cells and decreased the proportion of CD56dim cells, in young, but not older subjects. Although NK cell activity in response to vaccination was not significantly different between the young and older subjects, low post-vaccination NK cell activity was associated with poor seroconversion in only the older subjects. There was no influence of the synbiotic on NK cell phenotype or activity, either before or after influenza vaccination. In conclusion, ageing is associated with marked alteration of the phenotype of the NK cell population and there was evidence of an impaired NK cell response to influenza vaccination in older subjects. The effects of ageing on NK cell phenotype and activity could not be offset by B. longum + Gl-OS. Clinical trial identifier: NCT01066377.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences > Human Nutrition Research Group
ID Code:75971


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