Impact of Nutrition on Adult Vaccination Efficacy

  • Claudio FranceschiEmail author
  • Aurelia Santoro
Part of the Practical Issues in Geriatrics book series (PIG)


A certain proportion of patients fail to mount a response to routine vaccines, and non-responsiveness increases with age. In older individuals, vaccination with a new vaccine is associated with a high rate of low or non-responsiveness. This has led immunologists to posit that to improve the efficacy of vaccination, not only chronological age but also biological age should be considered. Biological age takes account of variance in markers of chronological age between individuals, whereby individuals can have a marker level that matches the expected level for their age in the population or the level of a younger age group (i.e. biological age may be lower than chronological age) or the level of an older age group (i.e. biological age may be higher than chronological age). Research in fields such as epigenetics and glycomics has helped to shed light on the determinants of ageing; results are reviewed here. The utility of considering biological age to evaluate risk is addressed, and the phenomenon termed “inflammaging” is described. Overall, there remain significant gaps in our knowledge regarding the effects of nutrition in vaccine efficacy, and complex biological, immunological, genetic, behavioural and environmental factors are intricately involved in the outcome of vaccination, especially in older adults.


Nutrition Vaccination Inflammation Ageing Epigenetics Geroscience Glycomics Accelerated ageing 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of BolognaBolognaItaly

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