A lack of antibody diversity may make the elderly more susceptible to the flu – Science Daily

The influenza vaccine may be less effective in the elderly because their B cells are less capable of producing antibodies that can adapt to protect against new viral strains, researchers report February 19 in the journal Cell Host & Microbe. With age, B cells and the antibodies they secrete acquire fewer mutations that would provide flexible protection against the ever-changing flu virus. “The major implication is that when a newly circulating influenza virus infects elderly individuals, they don’t have quite the right tool to fight it because their antibodies are not as protective,” says senior study author Patrick Wilson of ...

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