HIV-1 specific antibody titers and neutralization among chronically infected patients on long-term suppressive antiretroviral therapy (ART): A cross-sectional study

Johannes S. Gach, Chad J. Achenbach, Veronika Chromikova, Baiba Berzins, Nina Lambert, Gary Landucci, Donald N. Forthal, Christine Katlama, Barbara H. Jung, Robert L. Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

The majority of potent and broadly neutralizing antibodies against HIV-1 have been isolated from untreated patients with acute or chronic infection. To assess the extent of HIV-1 specific antibody response and neutralization after many years of virologic suppression from potent combination ART, we examined antibody binding titers and neutralization of 51 patients with chronic HIV-1 infection on suppressive ART for at least three years. In this cross-sectional analysis, we found high antibody titers against gp120, gp41, and the membrane proximal external region (MPER) in 59%, 43%, and 27% of patients, respectively. We observed significantly higher endpoint binding titers for gp120 and gp41 for patients with >10 compared to ≤10 years of detectable HIV RNA. Additionally, we observed higher median gp120 and gp41 antibody titers in patients with HIV RNA <,50 copies/mL for ≤5 years. 22% of patients neutralized a HIV-1 primary isolate (HIV-1JR-FL) and 8% neutralized a HIV-2/HIV-1 MPER chimera. Significantly greater HIV-1JR-FL neutralization was found among patients with >10 years of detectable HIV RNA (8/20 [40.0%] versus 3/31 [9.7%] for ≤10 years, p =0.02) and a trend toward greater neutralization in patients with ≤5 years of HIV RNA <50 copies/mL (7/20 [35.0%] versus 4/31 [12.9%] for >5 years, p=0.08). All patients with neutralizing activity mediated successful phagocytosis of VLPs by THP-1 cells after antibody opsonization. Our findings of highly specific antibodies to several structural epitopes of HIV-1 with antibody effector functions and neutralizing activity after long-term suppressive ART, suggest continuous antigenic stimulation and evolution of HIV-specific antibody response occurs before and after suppression with ART. These patients, particularly those with slower HIV progression and more time with detectable viremia prior to initiation of suppressive ART, are a promising population to identify and further study functional antibodies against HIV-1. Copyright:

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere85371
JournalPloS one
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 15 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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