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Salivary Immunoglobulin A Response to a Match in Top-Level Brazilian Soccer Players

Moreira, Alexandre1; Arsati, Franco2; Cury, Patrícia Ramos2; Franciscon, Clóvis3; de Oliveira, Paulo Roberto4; de Araújo, Vera Cavalcanti2

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: October 2009 - Volume 23 - Issue 7 - pp 1968-1973
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181b3dd7a
Original Research

Moreira, A, Arsati, F, Cury, PR, Franciscon, C, Oliveira, PR, and Araújo, VC. Salivary immunoglobulin a response to a match in top-level brazilian soccer players. J Strength Cond Res 23(7): 1968-1973, 2009-It has been suggested that several parameters of mucosal immunity, including salivary immunoglobulin A (s-IgA), are affected by heavy exercise either in field sports or in the laboratory environment. Few observations have been made during a true sporting environment, particularly in professional soccer. We tested the hypothesis that salivary IgA levels will be decreased after a 70-minute regulation in a top-level professional soccer friendly match. Saliva samples from 24 male professional soccer players collected before and after the match were analyzed. Salivary immunoglobulin A concentration was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and expressed as the absolute concentration (s-IgAabs), s-IgA relative to total protein concentration (IgA-Pro), and the secretion rate of IgA (s-IgArate). Rate of perceived exertion (RPE) was used to monitor the exercise intensity. The paired t-test showed no significant changes in s-IgAabs and s-IgArate (p > 0.05) from PRE to POST match. However, a significant (p < 0.05) increase in total protein concentration (1.46 ± 0.4 to 2.00 ± 07) and a decrease in IgA-Pro were observed. The best and most significant correlation was obtained with the RPE and changes in IgA-Pro (rs = −0.43) and could indicate that this expression may be an interesting marker of intensity in a soccer match. However, further investigation regarding exercise intensity, protein concentration, and immune suppression, particularly in team sports, is warranted. From a practical application, the variability of the responses among the players leads us to suggest that there is a need to individually analyze the results with team sports. Some athletes showed a decrease in s-IgA expressions, suggesting the need for taking protective actions to minimize contact with cold viruses or even reducing the training load.

1Department of Sport, School of Physical Education and Sport, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; 2Department of Oral Pathology, São Leopoldo Mandic Dental Research Center, Campinas, Brazil; 3Faculty of Physical Education, Metropolitan United Faculty - FMU, São Paulo, Brazil; and 4Department of Sports Science, Faculty of Physical Education. State University of Campinas, Campinas, Brazil

Address correspondence to Alexandre Moreira,

© 2009 National Strength and Conditioning Association