Latent herpesvirus infections alter immune homeostasis. To understand if this results in aging-related loss of immune protection against emerging infections, we challenged old mice carrying latent mouse cytomegalovirus (CMV), herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1), and/or murine gammaherpesvirus 68 (MHV-68) with influenza virus, West Nile virus (WNV), or vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV). We observed no increase in mortality or weight loss compared to results seen with herpesvirus-negative counterparts and a relative but not absolute reduction in CD8 responses to acute infections. Therefore, the presence of herpesviruses does not appear to increase susceptibility to emerging infections in aging patients.
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