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Chapter 5 : A Modern Plague, AIDS

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Abstract:

Acquired immunodeficiency disease syndrome (AIDS) is a deadly disease for which there is no cure or vaccine. The irony is this: most of us living today, especially those under the age of 25, cannot remember a time when we had to be concerned about an outbreak of typhoid or were endangered by lockjaw (tetanus). AIDS, according to the World Health Organization, afflicts 15 million people worldwide and occurs both in developed and less developed countries. The viral nucleic acid is packaged within a protein wrapper called the core, which in turn is encased in an outer virus coat or capsid; the outermost layer, called the envelope, is partly of host origin. Rous examined the filtrate and the sarcoma under the light microscope and found that neither contained bacteria; he concluded that he had discovered an infectious agent capable of causing tumors and that the infective agent was smaller than a bacterium. The transmission of disease from animals to humans is called a zoonosis. In the case of HIV, an extremely rare zoonosis established itself as a human-to-human infection. The linear array of nucleic acid bases that form the genes of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) can be used to show how closely related the immunodeficiency viruses are. A political dictatorship, a lack of clinics, severe poverty, and reluctance on the part of wealthy countries to invest or offer assistance makes the disease problem worse.

Citation: Sherman I. 2006. A Modern Plague, AIDS, p 88-115. In The Power of Plagues. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816483.ch5
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Figures

Image of Figure 5.1
Figure 5.1

A sketch of Lorraine, aged 11, who has AIDS, comforted by her grandmother. (Based on photograph by James Nachtwey−VII Photo Agency and used with permission.)

Citation: Sherman I. 2006. A Modern Plague, AIDS, p 88-115. In The Power of Plagues. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816483.ch5
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Image of Figure 5.2
Figure 5.2

The appearance of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). (A) The transmission electron microscope reveals HIV attached to and being released from an infected lymphocyte. (Courtesy of Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc.) (B) HIV magnified 140,000 times. (Photo by Oliver Meckes/Nicole Ottawa/Photo Researchers, Inc. © 2005 Photo Researchers, Inc.)

Citation: Sherman I. 2006. A Modern Plague, AIDS, p 88-115. In The Power of Plagues. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816483.ch5
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Image of Figure 5.4
Figure 5.4

The life cycle of a retrovirus. The virus attaches to the cell, and the viral RNA is reverse-transcribed into DNA by the viral transcriptase and integrates itself (as a provirus) in the host DNA (using the integrase). There it gets transcribed into mRNAs coding for viral proteins (integrase, transcriptase, protease) and viral RNA genes. The proteins and the genomic RNA are assembled into virus progeny.

Citation: Sherman I. 2006. A Modern Plague, AIDS, p 88-115. In The Power of Plagues. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816483.ch5
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Image of Figure 5.5
Figure 5.5

Clinical characteristics of an HIV infection. At 1, virus production occurs, and this results in fever, fatigue, diarrhea, and body aches. At 2, antibody is produced, and the number of viruses in the blood begins to decline. At 3, T4 cells decline. At 4, antibody levels decline dramatically, and T cell function is lost. At 5, virus production is re-established.

Citation: Sherman I. 2006. A Modern Plague, AIDS, p 88-115. In The Power of Plagues. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816483.ch5
Permissions and Reprints Request Permissions
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Image of Figure 5.6
Figure 5.6

Slim disease in a 25-year-old African woman. (Courtesy of Sebastian Lucas.)

Citation: Sherman I. 2006. A Modern Plague, AIDS, p 88-115. In The Power of Plagues. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816483.ch5
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References

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Tables

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Table 5.1

Cases of PCP in Limburg, 1955–1958

Citation: Sherman I. 2006. A Modern Plague, AIDS, p 88-115. In The Power of Plagues. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816483.ch5

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