The impact of viral infections on immune ageing

Healthy ageing is associated with progressive immune changes including immune-senescence and increased inflammation which drive a progressive decline in immune function in the aged.

These changes are also thought to contribute to the development of age-related conditions such as neurocognitive decline, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Increasing evidence suggests that certain viral infections including cytomegalovirus and HIV may potentiate age-related immune decline, leading to increased risk of age-related diseases.

We are aiming to better understand these changes, and are focusing on cells within the innate immune system to investigating the following:

  • What changes occur to innate immune cells during healthy ageing and do chronic viral infections such as HIV and hepatitis C virus accelerate these changes?
  • Are these changes completely reversed following anti-viral therapy?
  • Do healthy ageing and viral infections drive immune dysfunction and immune-senescence by similar or overlapping mechanisms?
  • Can these changes be used to help predict risk of age-related disease in individuals?




Associate Professor Anthony Jaworowski, RMIT University Dr Tom Angelovich, RMIT University



Contact Details

For any general enquiries relating to this project, please contact:

Doctor Anna Hearps

Deputy Program Director, Disease Elimination