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J Clin Microbiol. 2002 Jun;40(6):2141-6.

Comparison of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-specific infection-enhancing and -inhibiting antibodies in AIDS patients.

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  • 1Laboratory of Immunovirology, Pediatric Research Center, Ste-Justine Hospital, Montreal, Quebec H3T 1C5, Canada.


The humoral immune response of the human host against the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1 (HIV-1) envelope glycoproteins comprises virus-neutralizing antibodies (NAs), antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity-mediating (ADCC) antibodies, and infection-enhancing antibodies (IEAs). Because of their potential significance for the outcome of infection with this virus, we have studied the relative prevalence of NAs, ADCC antibodies, and IEAs in the sera of patients infected with HIV. Our results demonstrate that while >or=60% of serum samples are positive for NAs or ADCC antibodies, 72% of these serum samples mediate the enhancement of infection in the presence of complement. In patients with low CD4 counts, NA and ADCC antibody levels tend to decrease, while IEA levels increase. A significant positive correlation was found only between the presence of ADCC antibodies and the presence of antibodies that neutralized HIV-1 in the presence of complement. These results show that the anti-HIV-1 humoral immune response consists of a mixture of antibodies that may inhibit or enhance HIV infection and whose ratios may vary in different stages of the infection.

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