Honorary Professor of KSMU, Head of the Department of Clinical Immunology and Allergology of the Institute of Clinical Medicine of the I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, Head of the International Laboratory of Immunopathology, Professor, academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexander Karaulov answered the questions of journalists of the AiF Health newspaper about the seasonal state of immunity, the concept of a strong and weak immune response, factors that reduce immunity, the role of microbiome in the state of innate immunity and methods of modulating immunity:

“…seasonal changes in the immune system are known and obvious, which is confirmed by the upsurge in morbidity at a certain time of the year. Studies have established both a daily and a yearly cycle of immune gene activity. For example, in winter, the genes responsible for inflammation are “awakened”, and the anti-inflammatory genes, on the contrary, are in a sleepy state. In spring, a decrease in the body’s barrier function is more characteristic. Mucosal immunity is formed with in the mucous membranes (respiratory tract, digestive and urogenital tract). And in the spring, it’s really going down. After all, even sharp warming, an increase in solar activity are stress for the body. By the way, the types of viruses also depend on the season. For example, enteroviruses are more active in summer, and adenoviruses, influenza viruses – in the autumn-winter period. Other pathogens like rhinoviruses, coronaviruses are in working form all year round.

… the body’s defenses can be modulated in different ways. For example, with vaccinations. Adjuvants contained in vaccines can increase the immune response (antibody production) to a particular antigen and enhance cellular memory production.

… stress most severely destroys immunity. Another, equally significant point that reduces immune defense is the presence of any chronic diseases, ranging from diabetes mellitus, obesity and cardiovascular diseases to cancer…”

The full text of the publication can be found at   https://catalog-n.com/aif-zdorove-6-2022#aif-zdorove-6-2022-01