Stress May Increase Long Term Success of Vaccinations
The latest study in a series of Ohio State University research projects looking at the differences between acute and chronic stress suggests that acute, or short-term, stress may actually increase a vaccine's effectiveness.
Results from laboratory tests in the current study showed that mice that were psychologically stressed for a short period of time, about two hours, prior to an immunization had significantly better immune responses than non-stressed mice when both groups of animals were re-exposed to the same antigen several months later.
"A brief feeling of stress at the time of immunization may enhance the immune system's long-term memory for an antigen," said Firdaus Dhabhar, the study's lead author and an associate professor of oral biology and molecular virology, immunology and medical genetics at Ohio State University.
"This enhanced immune response is likely to mean greater protection even further down the road," he said.
Researchers think that acute stress,