What makes HIV-1 infection unique?

Meanwhile, in HIV-1 infection, there is a temporary fall in CD4+ T cell count during the early stage of infection. This is because CD4+ T cells are target cells of HIV-1. The number, however, gets back to its normal in most cases. 

What makes HIV-1 infection unique?

Bivek Timalsina Level 1 Asked on October 28, 2015 in Virology.
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3 Answer(s)

From years of studies and evidences we know much more about HIV , its basic structure to its genetic makeup, about primary infection, its transmission,  latency, clinical symptoms, sero-conversion and  its proceeding to AIDS. day by day new findings are revealing but still there is many things unknown, due to lack of evidences or something. It is always been unique. Infection with HIV1 typically occurs across mucosal surfaces or by direct inoculation. The virus infects  CD4+ T lymphocytes and multiplies there. it releases gp120 and bind the receptor site and disable its immune function,  binding on receptor site produce negative effect such that even non infected CD4 cells loss immune function. As we know, CD4 + T cells are the target cells  of HIV1. and CD8+ T cells have negative cytotoxic effect on virus.But study by Shah et al, published in Nature medicine in 2001, showed that HIV can infect CD8+ Tcells with out using either  CD4 as receptor nor either of co-receptor CXCR4/CCR5. so, HIV is unpredictable which make it unique.

Gaurab Karki Level 2 Answered on October 28, 2015.
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Reverse transcriptase activity of HIV makes it unique. However, its continuous mutations in every following generations is another important character to its uniqueness.

bikash Level 1 Answered on October 31, 2015.
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Dear Gaurab and Bikash,

Thank you for the very specific comment. I agree to your points.

I believe that, what makes HIV-1 infection unique is that the virus cannot be completely eradicated by the immune system, though persisting in the body, eventually increasing viral loads, and thus developing AIDS. Even more interesting fact it that, HIV shows the high genetic variability because of the high mutation and recombination rated of the reverse transcriptase enzyme with high rate of virus replication. This means there are many different strains of HIV, even within the body of a single infected person resulting in the generation of various types, groups and subtypes during the course of evolution (Frost et al., 2005; Paul M Sharp & Hann, 2011).

Still looking for the answer of rise of CD4+T cell even after temporary fall in their count..

Thank you.

Bivek Timalsina Level 1 Answered on November 1, 2015.
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