GlossaryAIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) - An infection due to HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) that severely damages the immune system.
Antibodies - Protein produced by white blood cells, which neutralize or destroy foreign proteins in the body (antigens). When infected with virus or bacteria, the body produces antibodies, which destroy the invading microorganisms.
Antigen - Any substance able to provoke an immune response in the human body.
CD4 - A protein embedded in the surface of some T-cells and certain other cells (e.g., macrophages, Langerhans cells, glial cells). HIV invades cells by attaching to their CD4 receptor.
DNA - The abbreviation for "deoxyribonucleic acid," the primary carrier of genetic information found in the chromosomes of almost all organisms.
ELISA – Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
Enzyme - A protein that speeds up chemical reactions in the body.
Glycoproteins – A protein that has sugar molecules attached to it.
HIV - Human Immunodeficiency Virus; the virus that is responsible for causing AIDS.
Immune system - A system of the body through which it fights the effects of deleterious agents like pathogenic microorganisms and protects itself from diseases.
Immunofluoresence - Labeling of antibodies or antigens with fluorescent dyes especially for the purpose of demonstrating the presence of a particular antigen or antibody in a tissue preparation or smear.
Immunocompromised - An abnormal condition where one's ability to fight infection is decreased. This can be due to a disease process, certain medications, or a condition present at birth.
Infection - Invasion of the body by agents (bacteria, viruses or fungi) that cause disease or tissue damage.
Plasma Cells - A type of white blood cell that produces antibodies.
PCR - Polymerase Chain Reaction; DNA cloning for sequencing, in the diagnosis of hereditary diseases; for forensic identifying of genetic fingerprints, for paternity testing and in detection and diagnosis of infectious diseases.
RNA - Ribonucleic acid, which helps to decode and process the information contained in DNA.
Serology - Study of reactions and properties of serum.
Serum - The clear liquid left after the blood coagulates and forms a clot.
STD - Sexually Transmitted Disease.
Virus - A simple pathogenic microorganism that invades living cells and uses cellular mechanisms to create multiple copies of itself.
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