1 Solution key - 7.012 Recitation 20 - 2010 Question 1. HIV can lie dormant in a person’s body for many years without causing any noticeable symptoms . Explain how an unrelated infection that activates the humoral response pathway may lead to the development of a full – blown HIV infection. The HIV targets the cells that express CD4 on their surface. Accordingly the cell targeted are the T-Helper cells which are required directly for the humoral immune response and indirectly participate also in the cytotoxic T cell mediated response. The HIV virus may remain dormant in these cells for a long time period. However, an unrelated infection may trigger the rapid proliferation with the objective to trigger an immune response to combat the infection. As these HIV infected T-helper cells proliferate, more and more virus is made resulting in a full blown HIV and the collapse of the immune system. 2. The polymerase that copies the genome of the HIV virus is very error-prone.
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