HIV and the immune system

Published on September 30, 2020   27 min

Other Talks in the Series: The Immune System - key concepts and questions

My name is Quentin Sattentau, I'm Professor of Immunology at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, at the University of Oxford, UK. The title of my lecture is HIV and the Immune System.
Again, to start with a brief introduction to HIV-1 and AIDS, there are two types of human immunodeficiency virus or HIV for short, HIV-1 and HIV-2. Today, we're going to focus on HIV-1. HIV-1 is responsible for the global pandemic of about 37 million infected people. HIV-1 infects cells of the immune system, primarily CD4 T lymphocytes, also known as CD4+ T cells. The death of CD4+ T cells causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome or AIDS. AIDS is the loss of immune competence to fight opportunistic infections and some cancers. HIV-1 elicits innate and adaptive immune responses, but evades these responses. HIV-1 also forms long-lived latent reservoirs preventing viral eradication.
In order to understand HIV immunology, we need to address the following questions. How does HIV-1 infect and replicate in CD4 T cells and other relevant immune cells? How does the virus cause immune pathology driving AIDS? What is the immune response to HIV-1, and how is this evaded by the virus? What are we doing to develop a vaccine? Can we eliminate HIV-1 from the infected host?