T cells are a critical component of the immune system and required for protection against viral and bacterial infections. However, the capacity of these cells to provide sufficient protection declines with age, leading to an increased susceptibility to and mortality from infection in older individuals. In many cases, it also contributes to poor vaccine-induced immunity. Understanding the basic biology behind T cell aging is key to unraveling these defects and, in turn, designing more effective vaccines and therapeutics for the older population. Here, we will discuss recent studies that have provided significant insight into the features of T cell aging, how these features may contribute to poor immune responses with advancing age and newer avenues of research that may further enhance anti-viral immunity in older individuals.
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