Vaccination response following aerobic exercise: can a brisk walk enhance antibody response to pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations?

Joanna E. Long, Christopher Ring, Mark Drayson, Jos Bosch, John P. Campbell, Jagraj Bhabra, David Browne, Joel Dawson, Sarah Harding, Jamie Lau, Victoria E. Burns

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High intensity acute exercise at the time of vaccination has been shown to enhance the subsequent antibody response. This study examines whether an acute moderate intensity aerobic intervention prior to vaccination can enhance antibody response to pneumonia and half dose influenza vaccination. Sixty young (age (SD)=22.0 (6.1) years) and 60 older (age (SD)=57.5 (6.5) years) adults attended the laboratory on two separate occasions. At the first session, baseline antibody titres were determined, before participants completed either a brisk walk around campus at >55% of their age-predicted heart rate maximum, or a resting control condition, for 45 min. After the intervention, all participants received a full-dose pneumococcal vaccination and a half-dose influenza vaccination. Four weeks later, participants returned for a follow up blood sample. Multivariate ANOVA revealed an increase in total antibody titres against the influenza vaccine (F((12,106))=25.76, p<.001, η(2)=.75) and both the IgM (F((12,106))=17.10, p<.001, η(2)=.66) and IgG (F((12,106))=25.76, p<.001, η(2)=.75) antibody titres against the pneumococcal vaccine. However, there were no significant Time×Group interactions (p's all >.15), indicating that a 45 min brisk walk prior to vaccination did not affect antibody response to either the influenza or pneumonia vaccine. The results suggest that higher intensity exercise is necessary to augment antibody response to vaccination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)680-687
Number of pages8
JournalBrain Behavior and Immunity
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 2012


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antibody Formation
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Influenza Vaccines
  • Influenza, Human
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumococcal Infections
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines
  • Vaccination
  • Walking


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