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Essay on Congenital Neonatal Infections in Vertical HIV

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Congenital Human Immunodeficiency Virus, also called Vertical HIV, is a serious epidemic arising from passage of the virus to an infant from a maternal infection. The disease can have severe symptoms for the infected newborn and is almost always fatal to the child. The fetus has a 25% chance of infection while in utero and a 20% - 50% ( depending of the country) chance of infection during the birthing process although a cesarean birth significantly lowers the probability of neonatal infection. The severity of the mothers HIV infection determines the chances of a fetal infection meaning the more advance the disease in the mother the high the possibility of transmission through placental cord blood. Infection can also occur from…show more content…
The juxtapositional co-receptor attachment to the host membrane encourages the GP41 protein to initiate fusion by collapsing into a hairpin loop structure bringing the two membranes in close proximity. The virus then injects the contents of the virion including machinery enzymes and the RNA genome into the host cell where a dsDNA molecule is made and integrated into the host. The reverse transcription process has a high mutation rate because the viral reverse transcriptase enzyme is unable to detect or repair any mistakes as it forms the dsDNA. After the new dsDNA molecule is made it is transported to the nucleus of the host and integrated into the host genome. The HIV genome will either remain in a lysogenic state within the host or if actively stimulated new HIV viruses will be constructed and released to infect neighboring cells. The ability of the virus to choose its co-receptor is called viral tropism and determines its virulence and disease progression rate. If the virus binds with the co-receptor CCR5 it is called macrophage-tropic (M-tropic) and characterizes most HIV infections. The M-tropic variant is regarded as less virulent because it is nonsyncytial. Some mutations of the CCR5 gene lead to a partial immunity to the virus and can slow the disease and in some cases prevent infection of the M-tropic HIV varient. Also patients with high levels of CCR5 soluble chemokines are more resistant to the virus. The CXCR4 chemokine co-receptor is
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