Lack of Antibody Diversity in Elderly to Make Them More Susceptible to Flu


Recent research suggests the lack of antibody variants in the elderly population makes them more susceptible to developing influenza. The study revealed that the influenza vaccine may prove less effective on the elderly owing to the lack of production of different antibodies that could adapt to protect them against new viral strains. The lack of different antibodies in the elderly was linked to the lower mutation rates of antibodies released by B-cells, a process which allows for protection against the ever-changing virus strains.

Researchers stated that whenever a new strand of influenza virus is in circulation and infects the elderly their body fails to produce the antibodies required to fend off the virus. The deteriorating immune system in the aging population is considered to be a vital cause of deaths and illness in elderly adults. The weakening immunity of the geriatric population makes them more susceptible to falling prey to fungal, viral, and bacterial infections. Influenza has been reported to be the leading cause of deaths in the population aged over 65 due to the substantially weak antibody response to the disease.

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During the research, the group compared the B cells of younger and elderly adults to identify the stark differences that are behind the growing number of deaths due to influenza. The study concluded that the B-cell repertoire in the adults was fixed while antibodies from the B-cells in younger adults continue to mutate. The fixed repertoire of B-cells was discovered to be the constraint which prevented mutation of the antibodies in the elderly.

Additionally, the antibodies in the elderly were less potent and showed fewer capabilities of protecting the body against flu viruses. Unlike the antibodies in younger adults, the antibodies produced in the elderly only targeted the conserved structure and protein structure of the virus.

The study was possible because of the latest developments in the immune repertoire sequencing systems that allowed researchers to study human cells in detail. With the growing prevalence of cancer and other infectious diseases, the immune repertoire sequencing systems are expected to improve in performance and precision which, in turn, will augment to the growth of the market.

A substantial rise in the healthcare expenditure around the world coupled with a growing focus on genomic-based researches is further propelling the growth of the immune repertoire sequencing market. Integration of sophisticated technology with bio sequencing is opening up new opportunities in the market. Development of areas such as bioinformatics, pre-sequencing, and evolving cloud computing solutions have allowed manufacturers to introduce novel and innovative products in the market. Significant growth in the awareness about immunotherapies has further fueled the demand for such treatments and is prompting pharmaceutical companies to make massive investments in the area which, in turn, is driving the immune repertoire sequencing market proliferation. Owing to these factors the immune repertoire sequencing is estimated to be valued at US$ 173 million by the end of 2026.

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North America is expected to remain at the helm of the immune repertoire sequencing market with countries in the region providing the sophisticated infrastructure required for the development of the industry. The growing incidences of cancer in the region coupled with a rise in the demand for immunotherapy for the disease is likely to prove vital to immune repertoire sequencing market proliferation.

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