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Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2014, Article ID 234565, 7 pages
Research Article

Markers of Biological Stress and Mucosal Immunity during a Week Leading to Competition in Adolescent Swimmers

1Department of Kinesiology, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, Brock University, St Catharines, ON, Canada L2S 3A1
2Department of Psychology, Centre for Neuroscience, Brock University, St Catharines, ON, Canada L2S 3A1
3Department of Pediatrics, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada L8S 4L8

Received 28 October 2013; Accepted 3 June 2014; Published 12 June 2014

Academic Editor: Dan Nemet

Copyright © 2014 E. Papadopoulos et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In this study we examined changes in the salivary concentrations of immunoglobulin A (sIgA), cortisol (sC), testosterone (sT), and testosterone-to-cortisol ratio (T/C) in 21 competitive swimmers, 11–15 years old, during a week leading to competition as compared to a control (noncompetition) week. No day-to-day changes or significant differences between weeks were observed for sIgA ( versus μg/mL for control versus competition week, resp.), sC ( versus  ng/mL for control versus competition week, resp.), and T/C ratio ( versus for control versus competition week, resp.). In contrast, sT was significantly lower during the week of competition (  pg/mL) as compared to the control week (  pg/mL) suggesting that the swimmers were in a catabolic state, although this did not have a negative effect on their performance. In conclusion, salivary cortisol did not change between the two weeks, and thus competition stress was relatively low, and mucosal immunity was unaffected in these young athletes prior to competition.