Session 8 - Blood Borne Infections (HIV and Hepatitis) Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Session 8 - Blood Borne Infections (HIV and Hepatitis) Deck (43)
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What are some examples of blood borne infections?

  • HIV
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C


What is the viral structure of HIV?

It is a retrovirus.

A retrovirus converts ssRNA into ssDNA in the host, but then converts it back to ssRNA again.


What does the HIV virus do?

Infects cells with the CD4 surface receptor.


What cells have CD4 surface receptors?

  • T-helper lymphocytes
  • Monocytes and macrophages


What does HIV do inside the host cells?

Replicates inside the cell, leading to:

  • destruction of the cell
  • activation of the inflammation response around the cells
  • the spread and infection of more cells


How does HIV replicate inside the host cell?

Virus binds to the cell and fuses to it.

It's genetic contents are emptied into the cell where the ssRNA is converted into dsDNA.

The dsDNA is integrated into the genetic material of the cell, where they can be replicated and transcribed in newer cells.

Viral protein chains come together and bud off the cell, forming an immature virus that then matures into a full fledged HIV.


How is HIV transmitted?

Transmitted from the contact of infected bodily fluids with mucosal tisues/ blood/ broken skin.


How can HIV be spread from person to person?

  • Sexual contact
  • Transfusion of bodily fluids (blood)
  • Contaminated needles
  • Perinatal transmission
    • transplacental
    • during delivery through an infected birth canal
    • as a result of ingestion of breast milk carrying virus


What is the progression of infection of HIV?

  • Primary infection
  • Latent infection
  • Symptomatic infection
  • Severe infection (AIDS)


What is the primary infection of HIV and it's affects on viral load and CD4 count?

Initial introduction to HIV where the viral load goes up dramatically.

Virus makes it home in the lymph nodes where it can then access the bloodstream.

Patient will feel unwell at this point.

CD4 count will temporarily drop, but shall recover in the primary phase.


What is the latent infection of HIV?

Can last from months to years.

Virus starts out at a very low point and begins to replicate, evading the immune system.

CD4 count will gradually start to fall.


What is the symptomatic infection of HIV?

Where patients start to notice problems.

May get presistent infections but not take much notice of it.

CD4 count is approximately <350 cells/µL and decreasing.


What is the severe infection of HIV?

Becomes at risk of severe, life-threatening infections.

Patient also becomes severe risk for the development of AIDS.

CD4 count in <200 cells/µL.


What are the main symptoms of an acute HIV infection?

  • Fever 
  • Weight loss
  • Skin rash
  • Mouth sores/ thrush
  • Nausea and vomiting


What diagnostic tests are used to identify HIV?

  • Blood tests
    • Serology
    • PCR
  • Rapid testing


How does serology test for HIV?

Tests for HIV antigen and antibodies.

Can receive results on the same day.

Test can give out false negatives (if taken too early).


How does PCR test for HIV?

Detects HIV nucleic acid and is highly sensitive.

Is expensive and can take longer for results (1 week).

Highly accurate.



How does rapid testing test for HIV?

Low cost testing that takes under an hour.

Uses a finger-prick or oral in home tests.

Detects the HIV antibody.

May get false positive result, but if negative, it is accurate.


What are some infections patients may present with that may be indicative of HIV?

Resp: bacterial pneumonia/ TB

Neuro: meningitis

Derm: psoriasis/ recurrent or multi-dermal shingles

Gastro: chronic diarrhoea

Gynae: cervical intrapithelial neoplasia (CIN)

Any STI/ Hep B/ Hep C


Whar are the aims of HIV treatment?

  • Undetectable HIV viral load
  • Increase CD4 count
  • Reduce general inflammation
  • Reduce risk of transmission
  • Improve quality of life


What drugs can be used to treat HIV?

Anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs)


How do ARVs work and what mechanisms do they inhibit?

ARVs target enzymes that are vital in HIV's movement into the cell and replication. These drugs inhibit the following mechanisms:

  • Inhibition of reverse transcriptase enzyme, preventing ssRNA from being converted to dsDNA
  • Inhibition of integrase enzyme, preventing dsDNA from integrating with cell DNA
  • Inhibition of protease enzyme to stop protein chains from becoming a functioning virus


How many and which ARVs are used?

Normally 3 ARV drugs are used.

2 nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs)

And 1 of the following:

  • NRTI
  • Protease inhibitor
  • Integrase inhibitor


Why are 3 ARV drugs used?

Virus replicates very quickly (millions of rounds of replication each day).

The virus can therefore mutate and may develop a resistance to a singular drug.

Using 3 drugs, it makes it harder for the virus to develop resistance.


How can HIV be prevented?

  • Increase condom usage
  • ARV treatment as prevention
  • Post-exposure prophylaxis (giving an HIV -ve person drugs if they think they've been exposed to HIV)
  • Pre-exposure prophylaxis (giving an HIV -ve person drugs to protect themselves - done if person is in a relationship with someone who is HIV +ve)


What is the hepatitis virus?

Hepatitis = inflammation of the liver.

Replication occurs specifically in hepatocytes, which can lead to fibrosis, leading to cirrhosis and liver cancer.

Causes the destruction of hepatocytes.


What is the viral structure of Hepatitis B?

Enveloped dsDNA virus.


What is the viral structure of Hepatitis C?

Enveloped ssRNA virus.


What are some symptoms of acute Hepatitis B?

  • Jaundice
  • Fatigue
  • Abdominal pain
  • Anorexia/ Nausea/ Vomiting
  • Arthralgia (pain in a joint)


How is hepatitis B transmitted?

  • Vertical transmission
  • Sexual contact
  • Contaminated needles