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Issue 8, 2011
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UV-induced immunosuppression and the efficacy of vaccination

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Exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) suppresses immunity by complex pathways, initiated by chromophores located in the skin and ending with the generation of specific subsets of T and B regulatory cells. The primary and memory (recall) immune response to a wide variety of antigens, including microorganisms, can be reduced by UVR, leading to the possibility that the efficacy of vaccination could be similarly reduced. A limited number of animal models of vaccination demonstrate that this may indeed be the case. The situation in human subjects has not been rigorously assessed but there are indications from a variety of sources that UVR adversely affects the immune responses to several vaccines. These studies are reviewed and the implications for vaccine administration discussed. As vaccination represents a major public health measure world-wide for the control of an increasing number of common infections, it is important to maximise its efficacy; therefore further evaluation of UVR in the context of vaccination is required and warranted.

Graphical abstract: UV-induced immunosuppression and the efficacy of vaccination

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Publication details

The article was received on 23 Mar 2011, accepted on 16 May 2011 and first published on 28 Jun 2011

Article type: Perspective
DOI: 10.1039/C1PP05105A
Citation: Photochem. Photobiol. Sci., 2011,10, 1267-1274
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    UV-induced immunosuppression and the efficacy of vaccination

    M. Norval and G. M. Woods, Photochem. Photobiol. Sci., 2011, 10, 1267
    DOI: 10.1039/C1PP05105A

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