Correlation Between Anti-gp41 Antibodies and Virus Infectivity Decay During Primary HIV-1 Infection.
Recent experiments have suggested that the infectivity of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) and human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) in plasma decreases over time during primary infection. Because anti-gp41 antibodies are produced early during HIV-1 infection and form antibody-virion complexes, we studied if such early HIV-1 specific antibodies are correlated with the decay in HIV-1 infectivity. Using a viral dynamic model that allows viral infectivity to decay and frequent early viral load data obtained from 6 plasma donors we estimate that HIV-1 infectivity begins to decay after about 2 weeks of infection. The length of this delay is consistent with the time before antibody-virion complexes were detected in the plasma of these donors and is correlated (p = 0.023, r = 0.87) with the time for antibodies to be first detected in plasma. Importantly, we identify that the rate of infectivity decay is significantly correlated with the rate of increase in plasma anti-gp41 IgG concentration (p = 0.046, r = 0.82) and the increase in IgM+IgG anti-gp41 concentration (p = 8.37 × 10-4, r = 0.98). Furthermore, we found that the viral load decay after the peak did not have any significant correlation with the rate of anti-gp41 IgM or IgG increase. These results indicate that early anti-gp41 antibodies may cause viral infectivity decay, but may not contribute significantly to controlling post-peak viral load, likely due to insufficient quantity or affinity. Our findings may be helpful to devise strategies, including antibody-based vaccines, to control acute HIV-1 infection.
Vaidya, NK; Ribeiro, RM; Liu, P; Haynes, BF; Tomaras, GD; Perelson, AS
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