Immunological age prediction in HIV-infected, ART-treated individuals

Lesley R. de Armas, Suresh Pallikkuth, Li Pan, Stefano Rinaldi, Rajendra Pahwa, Savita Pahwa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Anti-retroviral therapy (ART) improves life expectancy in people living with HIV (PWH), but it remains unclear how chronic HIV infection affects normal aging of the immune system. Plasma cell-free protein expression and immune phenotypes were assessed in blood from ART treated PWH (19-77yrs, n = 106) and age-matched, HIV-negative controls (HC, n = 103). Using univariate spearman correlation, we identified 277 and 491 age-associated parameters out of a total 1,357 in HC and PWH, respectively. PWH exhibited shared and distinct age-associated immune profiles compared to HC highlighting the effect of HIV infection on immunological aging. Our analysis resulted in an 8-parameter, plasma-detectable inflammatory index that correlated with chronological age of all study participants but was higher overall in PWH. Additionally, predictive modeling for age in HC participants and age-associated parameters generated a 25-parameter signature, IMAP-25, with 70% and 53% accuracy in HC and PWH, respectively. Applying the IMAP-25 signature to immunological data from PWH revealed accelerated aging in PWH by 5.6 yrs. Overall, our results demonstrate that immune signatures, easily monitored in human blood samples, can be used as an indicator of one’s ‘immunological age’ during ART-treated HIV infection and can be applied to other disease states that affect the immune system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22772-22791
Number of pages20
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 15 2021


  • HIV
  • aging
  • biomarkers
  • immune cells
  • inflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Cell Biology


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