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Evaluation of the immune/inflammatory responses both systemic and in the mucosa of upper airways for SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in elderly subjects who maintained a regular practice of physical exercises before the pandemic

Grant number: 21/03235-5
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2022
Effective date (End): February 29, 2024
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Immunology - Applied Immunology
Principal Investigator:André Luis Lacerda Bachi
Grantee:Brenda Rodrigues Silva
Host Institution: Universidade de Santo Amaro (UNISA). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


The currently pandemic originated by the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, or COVID-19, has presented itself as one of the greatest global health challenges of this century. The symptoms of this disease vary from the absence of symptoms to more severe conditions characterized by the severe acute respiratory syndrome. Epidemiological studies show that the elderly population has been the most affected by this virus, which accounts for the largest serious cases of the disease and deaths. In this sense, it has been proposed that one of the factors that lead the elderly population to be the most affected by COVID-19 is the occurrence of the phenomenon named immunosenescence, which is characterized by the expressive decline in the responses of the immune system associated with aging It is accepted that the alterations associated with immunosenescence present a direct impact on both the innate and acquired immune systems, triggering an increase in the incidence of infectious diseases, morbidity, and mortality in this population. In order to reduce and/or contain the high rates of contagion and mortality by SARS-CoV-2, vaccination against COVID-19 has been carried out. However, an important issue that deserves to be highlighted concerns the fact that there is no data that accurately demonstrates that the vaccines available in our territory are capable of generating the protection expected in the elderly. In this sense, it is noteworthy that our group has developed studies showing that elderly people who regularly practice physical exercise have a better response to vaccination, specifically against the flu, when compared to elderly people who do not practice or are sedentary. However, due to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, the maintenance of regular physical exercise by the elderly population has been a major challenge for everyone involved. Therefore, we propose in this study to evaluate the systemic and upper airway immune and inflammatory response to the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in elderly people who regularly practiced physical exercise. To do it, elderly people of both sexes, aged between 60 and 85 years, who maintained a regular physical exercise routine for at least 12 months before the beginning of quarantine, were invited to participate in this study voluntarily (group PE, n=70) or who did not exercise regularly (NPE, n=35). All volunteers underwent vaccination against SARS-CoV-2. Saliva and blood samples were obtained before and 30 days after the administration of the second dose of the vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 and will be used to evaluate the concentrations of immunoglobulins A, M and G specific for SARS-CoV-2, neutralizing antibodies titers, cytokines, antimicrobial peptides and the T lymphocyte activation profile. (AU)

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