1. Physical activity significantly increased the odds for H1 seroconversion following influenza vaccination among all participants and titer response among the acute exercise group.
2. Acute-exercised participants had higher antibody responses compared to rested controls and physically active compared to inactive.
Evidence Rating Level: 2 (Good)
It is well known that exercise has positive effects on the immune system, including vaccination responses. Despite this, no prior studies have examined if the effect of exercise differs between physically active and inactive populations nor have they considered the potential interaction effect of acute exercise and physical exercise on vaccination responses. As a result, the present systematic review evaluated whether the immune response varied with acute exercises versus rested control, sufficient versus insufficient physical exercise (PA), or interactions between these.
Of 313 identified studies, 7 (n=550) were included in the final analysis from inception to March 2021. Studies were included if they had both antibody and PA measurements. Acute exercise was comprised of a bout of 15-50 minutes of resistance or aerobic exercise. PA was measured using self-reported questionnaires. Antibody response was calculated separately by strain variants. The relationship between acute exercise, PA, and antibody outcomes was performed using generalized linear mixed-effects models with random intercept. Age-sensitivity analyses were performed. The risk of bias was assessed using the Cochrane revised risk-of-bias tool. Results demonstrated that physical activity significantly increased the odds for H1 seroconversion following influenza vaccination among all participants and titer response among the acute exercise group. Furthermore, acute-exercised participants had higher antibody responses compared to rested controls and physically active compared to inactive.
Despite this, the study was limited by the lack of any participants aged 36-65. However, the results of the present paper allow for new directions for exploring exercise as a method for improving antibody response to vaccines, particularly in older individuals.
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