A diverse and well-balanced repertoire of T cells is thought to be crucial for the efficacious defence against infection with new or re-emerging pathogens throughout life. In the last third of the mammalian lifespan, the maintenance of a balanced T-cell repertoire becomes highly challenging because of the changes in T-cell production and consumption. In this Review, I question whether latent persistent pathogens might be key factors that drive this imbalance and whether they determine the extent of age-associated immune deficiency.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy