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L01 - The HIV Pandemic

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Western University
Biology 1001A
Tom Haffie

Lecture 01- The HIV Pandemic September 12, 2012 Associated Reading: p. 491-493, look up different HIV inhibitors (see slide 13)  has a dramatic effect on the quality of life / lifespan of heavily affected areas  total 33.3 million people estimated to be living with HIV or AIDS  about 60% of those affected live in sub-saharan Africa  belong in retrovirus category of virosphere Why is there still no cure or vaccine for HIV/AIDS?  Has an incredibly fast mutation/evolution rate  HIV is a virus and embeds itself in host DNA. This makes it difficult to avoid killing the host cell when attacking the virus  Political issue with funding, not enough profit to be made  People are not willing to participate in clinical trials Retrovirus  obligate cellular parasites ( require host cell & organelles to reproduce)  Anti-viral therapy has serious side effects as viral RNA becomes embedded into DNA  not on the phylogeny of life b/c viruses are NON-LIVING, contained in the “virosphere”  starts in RNA form and goes through reverse transcription (reverse transcriptase) to embed itself in DNA to be transcripted, translated into proteins.  Reverse transcription is highly error prone Lifecycle  Virion (viral particle) attaches and shoots RNA into host cell  Goes through reverse transcriptase to insert viral RNA into viral DNA  Viral enzyme integrase splices viral DNA into host DNA (in nucleus)  Transcription, translation, new virions assemble and the cell will lyse Anti-retroviral therapies (ARTs) inhibit virus-specific enzymes Ex. AZT – Anti-HIV nucleotide  mimics thymidine
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