Functional change: the total number of colony-forming B-lymphocytes and the ability of these cells to mature into antibody-secreting cells are diminished
Nursing implications: Older adults are less able to make new antibodies in response to the presence of new antigens. Thus they should receive immunizations, such as "flu shots" and the pneumococcal vaccination.
Functional change: there is a decline in natural antibodies, decreased response to antigens, and reduction in the amount of time the antibody respose is maintained
Nursing implications: older adults may not have sufficient antibodies present to provide protection when they are re-exposed to microorganisms against which they have already genterated antibodies. Thus older patients need to avoid people with viral infections and need to recieve booster shots for old vaccinations and immunizations