Preprint Review Version 2 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

COVID-19 and Crosstalk With the Hallmarks of Aging

Version 1 : Received: 11 April 2020 / Approved: 12 April 2020 / Online: 12 April 2020 (04:52:44 CEST)
Version 2 : Received: 15 May 2020 / Approved: 16 May 2020 / Online: 16 May 2020 (18:25:28 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.


Within the past several decades, the emergence of new viral diseases with severe health complications and mortality is evidence of an age-dependent, compromised bodily response to abrupt stress with concomitantly reduced immunity. The new severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, SARS-CoV-2, causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). It has increased morbidity and mortality in persons with underlying chronic diseases and those with a compromised immune system regardless of age and in older adults who are more likely to have these conditions. While SARS-CoV-2 is highly virulent, there is variability in the severity of the disease and its complications in humans. Severe pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, lung fibrosis, cardiovascular events, acute kidney injury, stroke, hospitalization, and mortality have been reported that result from pathogen–host interactions. Hallmarks of aging, interacting with one another, have been proposed to influence health span in older adults, possibly via mechanisms regulating the immune system. Here, we review the potential roles of the hallmarks of aging coupled with host–coronavirus interactions. Of these hallmarks, we focused on those that directly or indirectly interact with viral infections, including immunosenescence, inflammation and inflammasomes, adaptive immunosenescence, genomic instability, mitochondrial dysfunction, telomere attrition, epigenetic alterations, and impaired autophagy. These hallmarks likely contribute to the increased pathophysiological responses to SARS-CoV-2 among older adults and may play roles as an additive risk of accelerated biological aging even after recovery. We also briefly discuss the role of anti-aging drug candidates that require paramount attention in COVID-19 research.


COVID-19; pandemic; comorbidity; aging; hallmarks of aging; anti-aging


Biology and Life Sciences, Aging

Comments (1)

Comment 1
Received: 16 May 2020
Commenter: Shabnam Salimi
Commenter's Conflict of Interests: Author
Comment: The manuscript is revised in response to the reviewers. 
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