Travel to sunny countries is associated with changes in immunological parameters

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Under laboratory conditions, various studies have shown that changes in immunological parameters must be expected after exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. The objective of the present study was to evaluate, whether such changes can also be revealed after a vacation to a sunny country without prior adaptation to ultraviolet radiation. In 32 volunteers white blood cells, lymphocyte subpopulations, sIL2‐R, sCD14, immunoglobulins and complement factor C3 were determined before and after a vacation in a country with abundant sunshine during winter. The subjects received relevant doses of UVB as confirmed by questionnaires, UVB‐dosimetry and the significant increase of 25‐hydroxyvitamin D. After vacation, there was a significant decrease of the CD4/8 ratio and the serum concentration of IgG. The serum concentration of sIL2‐R, sCD14, IgA and C3 was increased after the journey. Sunshine exposure without prior adaptation may be responsible for significant alterations in the immune system in association with a vacation during winter.

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Medical School, Frankfurt, Germany

Publication date: August 1, 1997

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