Course Notes & other materials

Week 1: 30 Aug
Week 2: 6 Sept
Week 3: 13 Sept
Week 4: 20 Sept
Week 5: 27 Sept
Week 6: 4 Oct
Week 7: 11 Oct
Week 8: 18 Oct
Week 9: 25 Oct
Week 10: 1 Nov
Week 11: 8 Nov
Week 12: 15 Nov
Week 13: 22 Nov
Week 14: 29 Nov

News & information

We'll be in Ed2 N 2302.

Unit 15 notes updated, 2016
Unit 16 notes updated, 2016
Supplements updated, 2016

November 2016: The largest trial yet of a candidate HIV vaccine begins in South Africa, where there are 1000 new infections a day. The study is called HVTN 702.The first dose is certain HIV genes (DNA) in a canarypox vextor, with a later boost of gp120 protein.

November 2016: New York City reported the lowest number of new HIV infections (under 2500) since 1981. There were no reports of HIV-infected newborns.

July 2013: Another HIV “cure?” Doctors started treating "The MIssissippi baby", who was born to an HIV-positive mother, before the infant was 30 hours old. Treatment continued for 18 months, until the child's family stopped it. When doctors saw the child 10 months later, they worked with researchers to confirm that there was no virus detectable in the infant's blood — although tests showed that viral DNA remained.

Update July 2014: It was reported that the child, who wasn't consistently available for follow-up, had 16,000 viral particles per mL of blood on a recent visit. She has been put on long-term triple therapy, to which it is reported (2015) that she is responding.

25 April 2013: the NIH halted its last ongoing HIV vaccine trial when preliminary data indicated it was ineffective. The HTVN 505 trial used priming injections of plamid DNA with gag, pol, nef, and env viral gene inserts, followed by a boost with adenoviral vectors encoding gag, pol, and env. Many observers believe it's time to rethink vaccination strategy from the ground up.

20 November 2012: A report by UNAIDS shows unprecedented acceleration in AIDS prevention. A more than 50% reduction in the rate of new HIV infections has been achieved across 25 low- and middle-income countries—more than half in Africa, the region most affected by HIV. In some of the countries which have the highest HIV prevalence in the world, rates of new HIV infections have been cut dramatically since 2001; by 73% in Malawi, 71% in Botswana, 68% in Namibia, 58% in Zambia, 50% in Zimbabwe and 41% in South Africa and Swaziland.

In August 2012 the FDA approved Stribild, a once-daily treatment for HIV infection that contains two previously approved HIV medicines and two new drugs. The older medicines are reverse transcriptase inhibitors emtricitabine and tenofovir. The newer drugs are elvitegravir, an integrase inhibitor, and cobicistat, which inhibits rapid liver degradation of elvitegravir. Cost will be $28,500/year.


WEEK 8: 18 October

Unit 15: Immunodeficiency (PDF)

Supplemental material (optional but brief, very interesting and informative): Vaccine-acquired rotavirus infections in undiagnosed infants with SCID

Supplemental material (optional:) How highly immunodeficient mice on the NOD background lacking the ability to do V(D)J recombination and the IL-2 receptor gamma chain were bred

Unit 16: Immunology of AIDS (PDF)

AIDS supplemental material (optional): How the epidemic started

Here are two excellent papers on important HIV topics:

Haase, A.T. (2010) Targeting early infection to prevent HIV-1 mucosal transmission. Nature 464:217-223.

A discussion of the earliest events after HIV transmission that identifies problems and targets. There seems to be a period of a few days when viral load is very low, that might offer opportunities to block progression. Also mentioned is the perennial problem: What is the infectious agent—free virus, or virus-infected cells?

Banga, R, et al. (2016) PD-1+ and follicular helper T cells are responsible for persistent HIV-1 transcription in treated aviremic individuals Nature Medicine 22:754-761.

This article clearly shows that the bulk of persistent HIV, even in people so well treated that blood virus is undetectable, in in lymph node T follicular helper cells. These cells mostly express PD-1, though it's unknown if thia fact is especially significant.