When someone is infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) through some sort of high risk behavior, they experience an acute phase of the disease in the first 4-6 weeks. This may include some combination of fever, weight loss, night sweats, fatigue, or nausea. The severity of these symptoms varies greatly. After this acute period, the individuals immune system reacts to the virus and greatly reduces the amount of virus in the tissues and blood, but does not completely eliminate the virus. Unlike the common cold, the HIV becomes latent and hides out inside various cells, leading to a series of small outbreaks that the immune system defeats. HIVs lifecycle involves copying the RNA viral genetic material in a way that leads to mutations, or changes in the RNA sequence. This leads to new strains of HIV within a single person and allows some of the outbreaks to be worse than others. During this latent period, HIV-infected persons shed the virus and can infect others, although they show limited symptoms associated with disease. At some point, these small outbreaks begin to damage the T-lymphocytes that control the adaptive portion of the immune system (these cells have a protein on their surface called CD4). As these CD4 T-lymphocytes die, the ability of the HIV-infected individual to mount immune responses decreases. At some point, HIV-infected individuals begin to suffer from infections and diseases caused by microbes that are easily defeated by someone with a competent immune system. This is the condition known as acquired immune deficiency syndrome or AIDS.
__Unit 14 Assignment:
-Identify one microbe that is uniquely life-threatening to AIDS patients by using resources available to you. In 1000-4000 words, explain
-Why this microbe uniquely threatens AIDS patients, but is not a threat to others. Include a brief explanation of how individuals with a fully functional immune system are not threatened by this microbe.
-If this microbe infects an AIDS patient, what symptoms indicate disease? How does this microbe affect the patient? How does the disease progress over time?
-What special care or treatment is used to protect AIDS patients from disease caused by this microbe?
-Any other information you feel is important to convey regarding this microbe and AIDS patients.
Remember to carefully and completely cite all source material used in this short report.