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Hantavirus - Essay Example

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These RNA segments, whose names stand for small, medium and large respectively, are responsible for the mechanism of infection. The S RNA is responsible for encoding the nucleocapsid, or N,…
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Download file to see previous pages The N protein that introduces the virus into the cytoplasm of the healthy human cell (Mir, 2010). The N protein of the virus associates itself with the L protein of the human host and produce “capped primers” or nucleocapsids, which can initiate transcription of the viral mRNAs upon invasion of the healthy human cell. Meanwhile, the glycoproteins G1 and G2 are transported to the Golgi bodies from the ER. Once the nucleocapsids interact with the glycoproteins, hantavirions are formed and are released out of the cell through exocytosis (“Virology,” CDC, 2011). Once the virions are out of the plasma membrane, the symptoms of HFRS or HPS begin showing.
The replication of the hantavirus occurs in the macrophages and vascular endothelial cells of the human lungs and kidneys (Muranyi et al., 2005). However, symptoms do not show until the replication process of a particular number of virions are finished and until these virions are released out of the plasma membrane to infect other cells. The endothelial cells of the lungs and kidneys are the main target cells of the virus. The endothelial cells are responsible for various physiologic functions of the body such as the regulation of edema, vascular repair and gas exchange (Mackow & Gavrilovskaya, 2009). Therefore, it simply follows that someone who is infected with hantavirus will have problems with these physiologic functions. The young man in the case study exhibited shortness of breath and labored and rapid breathing because the hantavirus has already invaded the endothelial cells of his lungs, which are responsible for gas exchange. Thus, the physiological ability of his lungs to handle gas exchange is impaired. According to Mir (2010), the hantavirus also infects mature and immature dendritic cells. Dendritic cells are actually responsible for capturing antigens and inducing a primary immune response among T lymphocytes (Wieder, 2003). However, the hantavirus uses ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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