The Effects Of Hiv Mutations On The Immune System

2210 words - 9 pages

Intro Sample...


The topic of this paper is the human immunodeficiency virus, HIV, and
whether or not mutations undergone by the virus allow it to survive in the
immune system. The cost of treating all persons with AIDS in 1993 in the
United States was $7.8 billion, and it is estimated that 20,000 new cases of
AIDS are reported every 3 months to the CDC. This question dealing with how
HIV survives in the immune system is of critical importance, not only in the
search for a cure for the virus and its inevitable syndrome, AIDS (Acquired
Immunodeficiency Syndrome), but also so that over 500,000 Americans already
infected with the virus could be saved. This is possible because if we know
that HIV survives... View More »

Body Sample...

Killer T cells will sacrifice these cells
by chemically puncturing their membranes, letting the contents spill out,
thus disrupting the viral replication cycle. Antibodies then neutralize the
viruses by binding directly to their surfaces, preventing them from attacking
other cells. Additionally, they precipitate chemical reactions that actually
destroy the infected cells. As the infection is contained, suppresser T
cells halt the entire range of immune responses, preventing them from
spiraling out of control. Memory T and B cells are left in the blood and
lymphatic system, ready to move quickly should the same virus once again
invade the body.
HIV?s Life Cycle
In the initial stage of HIV infection, the virus colonizes helper T cells,
specifically CD4+ cells, and macrophages, while replicating itself relatively
unnoticed. As the amount of the virus soars, the number of helper cells
falls; macrophages die as well. The infected T cells perish as thousands of
new viral particles erupt from the cell membrane. Soon, though, cytotoxic T
and B lymphocytes kill many virus-infected cells and viral particles. These
effects limit viral growth and allow the body an opportunity to temporarily
restore its supply of helper cells to almost normal concentrations. It is at
this time the virus enters its second stage.
Throughout this second phase the immune system functions well, and the net
concentration of measurable virus remains relatively low. But after a period
of time, the viral level rises gradually, in parallel with a decline in ...

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