eCite Digital Repository

The effect of an ultra-endurance running race on mucosal and humoral immune function


Pacque, PFJ and Booth, CK and Ball, MJ and Dwyer, DB, The effect of an ultra-endurance running race on mucosal and humoral immune function, Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 47, (4) pp. 496-501. ISSN 0022-4707 (2007) [Refereed Article]


Aim. There are reports of the effect of endurance exercise on mucosal immune function and of the effect of short duration exercise on humoral immune function. However, little is known of the effect of endurance exercise on humoral immune function and the related risk of infection. This study examined the effects of an ultra-endurance running race on salivary immunoglobulin-A (s-IgA), serum IgA, leukocyte subset concentrations and the incidence of upper respiratory tract infections (URTI). Methods. Thirteen male and 4 female competitors provided saliva samples and blood before and at several times after the running race. Self-reported symptoms of URTI were also recorded for 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after the race. Results. Salivary IgA secretion rate (P=0.005) and ratio to osmolality (P=0.006) were lower immediately postrace and decreased further for at least 2 more h. s-IgA secretion rate had not returned to normal the next morning (P=0.009). Serum IgA concentration was lower post- than prerace (P=0.003) and was even lower the next morning (P<0.001). Leukocyte concentration was elevated postrace (P<0.001), mainly because of an increase in neutrophils (P<0.001) and both remained high the morning after the race (P<0.001). Lymphocyte concentration decreased postrace (P<0.001) and was still depressed the next morning (P=0.032). The incidence of symptoms of URTI was the same in the two 2-week periods before and after the race. Conclusion. These findings support the hypotheses that an ultra-endurance run may adversely affect mucosal immunity and cause significant changes in the concentration of leukocyte subsets.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Sports science and exercise
Research Field:Exercise physiology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Pacque, PFJ (Dr Paul Pacque)
UTAS Author:Ball, MJ (Professor Madeleine Ball)
UTAS Author:Dwyer, DB (Dr Dan Dwyer)
ID Code:50927
Year Published:2007
Web of Science® Times Cited:27
Deposited By:Health Sciences A
Deposited On:2007-08-01
Last Modified:2008-04-30

Repository Staff Only: item control page