Effects of repeated bouts of soccer-specific intermittent exercise on salivary IgA

V Sari-Sarraf, T Reilly, D Doran, G Atkinson
International Journal of Sports Medicine 2008, 29 (5): 366-71
Failure to recover fully between sessions has been suggested to cause immunodepression. Therefore, the cumulative effects of soccer-specific intermittent exercise undertaken on different days 48 h apart on salivary IgA, cortisol and total protein concentration were investigated. Nine male subjects completed two trials of soccer-specific intermittent exercise 48 h apart on a motorised treadmill. Timed unstimulated saliva samples were collected immediately before and after exercise, and 24 and 48 h post-exercise. Salivary IgA concentration (EX (1): 215 +/- 160 to 335 +/- 246 and EX (2): 144 +/- 93 to 271 +/- 185 mg . l (-1), p = 0.007), osmolality (p = 0.001) and total protein (p = 0.001) increased immediately following exercise in both trials and decreased 24 h afterwards, whereas saliva flow rate decreased significantly (p = 0.015) before returning to pre-exercise values 24 h postexercise. The IgA secretion rate, IgA to osmolality ratio, IgA to total protein, solute secretion rate, total protein secretion rate, and cortisol did not differ between the time-points. The results suggest that performing two bouts of moderate intensity soccer-specific intermittent exercise 48 h apart does not suppress resting salivary IgA concentration significantly although a small progressive reduction in salivary IgA was observed. These findings may not extend to successive competitive soccer games when vulnerable players might experience clinically relevant reductions in s-IgA.

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