Alcoholism pp 325-330 | Cite as

Effects of Ethanol on the Immune System

  • Thomas R. Jerrells
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 206)


The effects of ethanol are varied and complex. A number of observations have led to the belief that ethanol abuse alters the immune system and this results in a predisposition to infectious agents and tumors. It has been shown that alcoholics have increased incidences of certain tumors and increased incidences of infections (Smith and Palmer, 1976; Adama and Jordan, 1984; Eckardt et al., 1981) that include tuberculosis and opportunistic organisms. It is clear that the effect of ethanol that produces this increased susceptibility is multifactorial but it is thought that an immunosuppression associated with alcohol abuse is important.


Spleen Cell Ethanol Exposure Ethanol Administration Blood Alcohol Level Isocaloric Diet 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas R. Jerrells
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PathologyUniversity of Texas Medical BranchGalvestonUSA

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