Cytomegalovirus strengthens the immune system

Update: February 2019

Scientists at the University of Arizona found that
cytomegalovirus (CMV), which is present in the body almost
each adult, promotes the active work of the immune
system. At the same time, scientists have refuted the theory that immunity
older people are weaker than young people. The work has been published 2
July on the website of the school.

Immunobiologists often say that with age the immune
the system weakens – this is considered the cause of exposure
older people to various infections (reducing the population of different types
T cells). Scientists who have studied the issue of “rejuvenation” of the immune system,
revealed an unexpected effect of cytomegalovirus infection, which,
contrary to expectations, does not undermine the immune system, but contributes to its
to strengthen.

In the experiment, scientists infected white mice
cytomegalovirus, whose carrier is half the population
planets (mostly infected at a young age). Treatment like
that is absent, and the virus persists in the body for life.

The virus almost never manifests itself, but the immune
the system is constantly struggling with it and is in an active state.
Introducing the virus to mice, scientists believed that the immune system would
weakened by keeping the virus in an inactive state.

But the result was the opposite: after infection of mice
listeriosis in older animals infected with CMV is better
resisted new infection than mice without cytomegalovirus.

How exactly does cytomegalovirus strengthen the immune system until it
installed, but there is an assumption that due to the presence of a virus
T cells are activated and enhance the immune response. Also was
It has been established that T cells in the blood of elderly mice are practically such
same as in young individuals. Most likely the problem is
that in older T-cells react worse to pathogens.

Maintaining immunity in a stressed state
The virus helps T-cells stay active. Scientists
It is believed that the potential of immunity in the elderly is much greater than
previously considered.

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