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Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. 2012 Jan;2(1):a007039. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a007039.

The Antibody Response against HIV-1.

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  • 1Division of Human Biology, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington 98109.


Neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) typically play a key role in controlling viral infections and contribute to the protective effect of many successful vaccines. In the case of HIV-1 infection, there is compelling data in experimental animal models that NAbs can prevent HIV-1 acquisition, although there is no similar data in humans and their role in controlling established infection in humans is also limited. It is clear HIV-specific NAbs drive the evolution of the HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein within an infected individual. The virus's ability to evade immune selection may be the main reason HIV-1 NAbs exert limited control during infection. The extraordinary antigenic diversity of HIV-1 also presents formidable challenges to defining NAbs that could provide broad protection against diverse circulating HIV-1 strains. Several new potent monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) have been identified, and are beginning to yield important clues into the epitopes common to diverse HIV-1 strains. In addition, antibodies can also act in concert with effector cells to kill HIV-infected cells; this could provide another mechanism for antibody-mediated control of HIV-1 replication. Understanding the impact of antibodies on HIV-1 transmission and pathogenesis is critical to helping move forward with rational HIV-1 vaccine design.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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