Research ArticleHIV

Partial efficacy of a broadly neutralizing antibody against cell-associated SHIV infection

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Science Translational Medicine  09 Aug 2017:
Vol. 9, Issue 402, eaaf1483
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaf1483

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Antibodies circumvented by cell-associated virus

Antibodies that are able to neutralize a range of HIV-1 strains are being developed to prevent infection in humans. Preclinical testing of these antibodies predominantly uses free virus during the challenge, although natural HIV-1 transmission could involve transfer of infected cells. To determine whether antibodies would still be able to combat this type of transmission, Parsons et al. developed a challenge model in nonhuman primates using SHIV-infected splenocytes. A well-characterized anti–HIV-1 antibody failed to protect all of the animals from the cell-associated viral challenge, although it had protected all animals from cell-free viral challenge. Their findings indicate that sustained high concentrations of circulating antibody may be necessary for prevention of cell-associated HIV-1 acquisition.