Known unknowns: how might the persistent herpesvirome shape immunity and aging?

Janko Nikolich-Zugich, Felicia Goodrum, Kenneth Knox, Megan J. Smithey

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The microbial community that colonizes all living organisms is gaining appreciation for its contributions to both physiologic and pathogenic processes. The virome, a subset of the overall microbiome, large and diverse, including viruses that persistently inhabit host cells, endogenous viral elements genomically or epigenomically integrated into cells, and viruses that infect the other (bacterial, protozoan, fungal, and archaeal) microbiome phylla. These viruses live in the organism for its life, and therefore are to be considered part of the aging process experienced by the organism. This review considers the impact of the persistent latent virome on immune aging. Specific attention will be devoted to the role of herpesviruses, and within them, the cytomegalovirus, as the key modulators of immune aging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-30
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Immunology
StatePublished - Oct 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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