Essay on The Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1

751 Words 4 Pages
The body possesses several lines of defense against infection by pathogenic organisms. Pathogens are tiny, disease-causing agents including viruses, bacteria, protozoa, molds, and other microorganisms (Willey et al., 2013). Pathogens invade the body, multiply, and can cause sickness or even death of the invaded host. A particular pathogen of interest is the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). HIV-1 is a retrovirus that targets T helper cells by binding to their CD4 receptors (Willey et al., 2013). Once the virus is injected into the host cell, it uses reverse transcriptase to convert the viral RNA into a strand of DNA that can then be integrated into the host genome (Emerman and Malim, 1998). Replication occurs producing peptides that form new viral components.
To protect against these organisms, the body contains both nonspecific and specific immune response. Physical barriers, fever, inflammatory response are examples of nonspecific response (Woodland and Winslow, 2008). Antigen molecules trigger specific immune response (Yokoyama WM and Colonna M, 2008). These are proteins and other molecules produced by pathogens. These antigens activate the specific immune defense such as dendritic cells, macrophages, B lymphocytes, and T lymphocytes (Staines, 1987). Phagocytic macrophages and dendritic cells break down pathogens and display antigenic fragments from pathogens on their cell surface (Banchereau et al., 2003). T cells see displayed antigenic fragments…

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