Title

Typhoid Vaccine Does Not Impact Feelings of Social Connection or Social Behavior In a Randomized Crossover Trial Among Middle-Aged Female Breast Cancer Survivors

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2023

School

Psychology

Abstract

Background: Inflammation can have social consequences, which may be relevant to inflammation’s link with depression. The current study tests whether a typhoid vaccine increases feelings of social disconnection and avoidance behavior.

Method: In two full-day visits at least three weeks apart, 172 postmenopausal breast cancer survivors (Stage I-IIIA) each received a typhoid capsular polysaccharide vaccination and a saline placebo injection in a random sequence. Blood was drawn prior to the injection, as well as every 90 min thereafter for 8 h to assess the inflammatory response (interleukin-6, IL-6; interleukin-1 receptor antagonist, IL-1Ra). At both visits, women completed the Social Connection Scale at 0 and 8.5 h post-vaccination as well as implicit and explicit social avoidance tasks at 7 h post-vaccination.

Results: The typhoid vaccine triggered rises in both inflammatory markers (ps < 0.01), but it did not impact feelings of social connection (p = .32), or performance on the implicit (p = .34) or explicit tasks (p = .37). Inflammatory rises did not predict feelings of social connection (ps > 0.64) or performance on explicit (ps > 0.73) or implicit (ps > 0.88) social avoidance tasks.

Conclusion: Milder inflammatory stimuli may not affect social processes. Higher levels of inflammation or, relatedly, more sickness symptoms may be necessary to recapitulate prior findings of social avoidance.

Publication Title

Brain, Behavior, and Immunity

Volume

107

First Page

124

Last Page

131

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