Research ArticleHIV

Coexistence of potent HIV-1 broadly neutralizing antibodies and antibody-sensitive viruses in a viremic controller

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Science Translational Medicine  18 Jan 2017:
Vol. 9, Issue 373, eaal2144
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aal2144

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Antibodies can hold HIV-1 at an impasse

Neutralizing antibodies put selective pressure on pathogens to mutate and escape from immune detection, which is one of the reasons why HIV-1 infection is difficult to contain. In this issue, Freund et al. studied samples spanning almost a decade from an individual who naturally controls HIV-1 infection without progressing to AIDS. They discovered three potent antibodies coexisting with viral strains that were sensitive to antibody neutralization, indicating that these antibodies may be contributing to viral control. These antibodies were also able to prevent HIV-1 viremia in humanized mice, demonstrating that the antibodies may be beneficial as passive immunotherapy for infected individuals.