Immuno Case 2

Immuno Case 2 - Mohamed Ammar, Mario Ferreira, Ryan...

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Mohamed Ammar, Mario Ferreira, Ryan Garrell, and Robert Gaudette Case 2 AIDS Vaccines Cancer Vaccines Case A. You are doing rounds in the Infectious Disease unit of the Storrs General Hospital. You have had the opportunity to get to know many of the patients quite well. One couple in particular is a husband and wife; the husband is positive for HIV contracted some years ago from a blood transfusion. They are interested in learning the latest information on the potential for an HIV vaccine as a treatment for him and as prophylaxis for her. 1. Why has it been so difficult for researchers to develop an HIV vaccine? There are numerous reasons as to why researchers have had a difficult time developing an HIV vaccine. Researchers lack a prior model to work with since HIV is a retrovirus, meaning that its genetic material is stored as RNA instead of DNA. To date, there are no current vaccines against human retroviruses. Normal vaccines imitate natural infections, where the body makes life-long antibodies to kill the infecting microbe or virus and can fight a future repeating infection. However, HIV does not initiate this type of response due to our immune system being unable to recognize the virus. This is because the coat of HIV consists of sugars that make it invisible to our antibodies. This coat is also continuously changing, making it difficult for researchers to target and meaning that a vaccine would have to constantly be updated to reflect the newest form of the virus. Another problem is that HIV can conceal itself by integrating into the host DNA and become a provirus. Therefore, the HIV vaccine would only have a small window of opportunity of a few days or weeks to stop the virus from establishing its effects on our genes. Another reason for lack of HIV vaccine development has been the lack of private sector funding. Drug companies lack reasons to create an HIV vaccine as the investments are difficult, costly and time-consuming. There is also a low profit potential from developing such a vaccine
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Immuno Case 2 - Mohamed Ammar, Mario Ferreira, Ryan...

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