The humoral response to HIV-1: new insights, renewed focus.
During the past 2 decades, significant advances in our understanding of the humoral immune response to human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection have been made, yet a tremendous amount of work lies ahead. Despite these advances, strategies to reliably induce antibodies that can control HIV-1 infection are still critically needed. However, recent advances in our understanding of the kinetics, specificity, and function of early humoral responses offer alternative new approaches to attain this goal. These results, along with the new broadly neutralizing antibody specificities, the role for other antibody functions, the increased understanding of HIV-1-induced changes to B cell biology, and results from the RV144 "Thai" trial showing potential modest sterilizing protection by nonneutralizing antibody responses, have renewed focus on the humoral system. In this review, recent advances in our understanding of the earliest humoral responses are discussed, highlighting presentations from the meeting on the Biology of Acute HIV Infection.
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