Human Immune Deficiency Virus Infection

Nutrition for Special Groups 3(3+0)

Lesson 46 : Hiv Aids

Human Immune Deficiency Virus Infection

The human immune deficiency virus (HIV 1 & 2) is the major etiologic agent of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). HIV is found in body fluids (particularly blood, semen, vaginal secretions, and breast milk) of persons infected with the virus. HIV causes severe depression of immune functions with devastating consequences for affected individuals. This virus is a retrovirus or a RNA virus whose genetic material consists of RNA but no DNA. It contains an enzyme called reverse transcriptase with the help of which the virus can make a copy of the host DNA on RNA template. Retrovirus infections last the life time of the host or infected cell.

The retrovirus binds to a cell surface receptor and is internalized. The viral RNA is transcribed to DNA through the reverse transcriptase enzyme. This proviral DNA gets integrated into the host chromosomal DNA and remains there.If not integrated, the proviral DNA, accumulates in the cytoplasm of the infected cell and causes cytopathic effect. As long as the viral DNA is latent, cell integrity is maintained. The viral DNA gets activated by certain antigens, coinfecting viruses or cytokines and produces viral protein for replicating the viral RNA. These then infect other cells.

  1. What does HIV look like
  2. Target Cells
  3. Effects of HIV Infection
  4. Modes of Transmission
Last modified: Friday, 11 May 2012, 5:59 AM