An age-old paradigm challenged: Old baboons generate vigorous humoral immune responses to LcrV, a plague antigen

Sue Stacy, Amanda Pasquali, Valerie L. Sexton, Angelene M. Cantwell, Ellen Kraig, Peter H. Dube

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations


Immune senescence in the elderly results in decreased immunity with a concomitant increase in susceptibility to infection and diminished efficacy of vaccination. Nonhuman primate models have proven critical for testing of vaccines and therapeutics in the general population, but a model using old animals has not been established. Toward that end, immunity to LcrV, a protective Ag from Yersinia pestis, was tested in young and old baboons. Surprisingly, there was no age-associated loss in immune competence; LcrV elicited high-titer, protective Ab responses in the older individuals. The primary responses in the younger baboons were lower, but they did show boosting upon secondary immunization to the levels achieved in the old animals. The LcrV Ag was also tested in mice and, as expected, age-associated loss of immunity was seen; older animals responded with Iower-titer Abs and, as a result, were more susceptible to Yersinia challenge. Thus, although age-related loss in immune function has been observed in humans, rodents, and some nonhuman primates, baboons appear to be unusual; they age without losing immune competence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-115
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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