Immunosenescence and Respiratory Infections Among Nursing Home Residents

  • Mark LoebEmail author
Living reference work entry


Residents of nursing homes are at high risk of infectious complications due to respiratory infection. The nursing home setting places residents at high risk given the frequent contact among residents and by staff along with the possibility for continuous introduction of respiratory viruses from the community. Nursing home residents are among the most frail members of society. They have multiple comorbidities that can increase their risk of infection. Immunosenescence plays an important role in not only rendering these seniors susceptible in infection, particularly viral respiratory infection, but also interferes with protection. That is, the ability to mount a robust immune response to influenza and pneumococcal vaccine increase the risk. There have been a number of T-cell deficits described in this population. CD4+ T cells, in particular T-regs and CMV-reactive CD4+ T-cells, have been shown to be predictive of respiratory viral infection in this population. Although evidence exists that T-cell subsets may correlate better with response to vaccine and protection, antibody responses to influenza vaccine remains an important correlate in this population. Large-scale epidemiologic studies are needed to establish better correlation between biomarkers for protection and respiratory and other pathogens that circulate in nursing homes.


Nursing homes Respiratory infection Influenza Innate immunity Clinical studies 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pathology and Molecular MedicineMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  2. 2.Department of Clinical Epidemiology and BiostatisticsMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  3. 3.Institute for Infectious Diseases ResearchMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada

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