Thirty-two–year-old Jason is a general laborer, who fell ill shortly after working on a job digging up old water pipes for the town he lived in. The task involved working around shallow pools of stagnant water. Ten days after the contract ended, Jason developed a fever and aching muscles. He also had nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Jason’s friend took him to his physician who listened carefully to Jason’s history. She told him she suspected West Nile fever and ordered serological testing. Jason went home to recover and was feeling better by the end of the week.
1. Jason’s physician ordered serological tests. How would antibody titers assist the doctor in confirming his diagnosis?
2. When Jason was feeling at his worst, he had extreme malaise, vomiting, and diarrhea. What stage of the illness was he experiencing at that time? What are the physiological mechanisms that give rise to the signs and symptoms of infectious illness?
3. West Nile virus has a single-stranded RNA genome. How does this virus replicate? In general terms, what are the various effects viruses can have on host cells?