With HIV and influenza as models, students examine the concepts of antigenic variation and resistance and underlying genetic processes. They explore questions like why re-infection can occur with some viruses and not with others and why HIV degrades the human immune system. Students research the influenza pandemic of 1918 to investigate how antigenic variation can defeat the immune system. Activities include an infection simulation game and a diagram of the infection process. Students watch the animation Antigenic Drift: How the Influenza Virus Adapts and a NOVA video.
Time: Four to five 45-minute sessions
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