Here researchers show that, in mice at least, a greater infectious dose of cytomegalovirus (CMV) causes a larger degree of age-related immune dysfunction. This is a useful paper that might go some way to answering one class of objection to the existing data on the contribution of CMV to immune system aging, in that not everyone who shows the markers of infection is impacted to the same degree. It seems that the level of exposure may be an important factor. The evidence for CMV to be a major issue for immune health is quite compelling: near everyone is infected by the time they are old; the immune system cannot effectively clear CMV; older people are characterized by a rapid increase in the proportion of immune cells uselessly specialized to CMV, and thus unable to contribute to any of the other responsibilities of the immune system.
The best way forward towards effective therapies is probably some form of targeted destruction of these cells, perhaps augmented by a cell therapy to deliver fresh immune cells to renew the defenses more rapidly than would otherwise be the case. There
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