Contribution of viral and bacterial infections to senescence and immunosenescence

Antonia Reyes, Gerardo Ortiz, Luisa F. Duarte, Christian Fernández, Rosario Hernández-Armengol, Pablo A. Palacios, Yolanda Prado, Catalina A. Andrade, Linmar Rodriguez-Guilarte, Alexis M. Kalergis, Felipe Simon, Leandro J. Carreño, Claudia A. Riedel, Mónica Cáceres, Pablo A. González

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Cellular senescence is a key biological process characterized by irreversible cell cycle arrest. The accumulation of senescent cells creates a pro-inflammatory environment that can negatively affect tissue functions and may promote the development of aging-related diseases. Typical biomarkers related to senescence include senescence-associated β-galactosidase activity, histone H2A.X phosphorylation at serine139 (γH2A.X), and senescence-associated heterochromatin foci (SAHF) with heterochromatin protein 1γ (HP-1γ protein) Moreover, immune cells undergoing senescence, which is known as immunosenescence, can affect innate and adaptative immune functions and may elicit detrimental effects over the host’s susceptibility to infectious diseases. Although associations between senescence and pathogens have been reported, clear links between both, and the related molecular mechanisms involved remain to be determined. Furthermore, it remains to be determined whether infections effectively induce senescence, the impact of senescence and immunosenescence over infections, or if both events coincidently share common molecular markers, such as γH2A.X and p53. Here, we review and discuss the most recent reports that describe cellular hallmarks and biomarkers related to senescence in immune and non-immune cells in the context of infections, seeking to better understand their relationships. Related literature was searched in Pubmed and Google Scholar databases with search terms related to the sections and subsections of this review.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1229098
JournalFrontiers in cellular and infection microbiology
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • bacteria
  • chronic infections
  • immunosenescence
  • persistent infections
  • SASP
  • senescence
  • virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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