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J Virol. 2012 Oct;86(19):10540-6. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00518-12. Epub 2012 Jul 18.

The breadth and titer of maternal HIV-1-specific heterologous neutralizing antibodies are not associated with a lower rate of mother-to-child transmission of HIV-1.

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  • 1Université François Rabelais, Inserm U966, Tours, France.

Abstract

It has been hypothesized that neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) should have broad specificity to be effective in protection against diverse HIV-1 variants. The mother-to-child transmission model of HIV-1 provides the opportunity to examine whether the breadth of maternal NAbs is associated with protection of infants from infection. Samples were obtained at delivery from 57 transmitting mothers (T) matched with 57 nontransmitting mothers (NT) enrolled in the multicenter French perinatal cohort (ANRS EPF CO1) between 1990 and 1996. Sixty-eight (59.6%) and 46 (40.4%) women were infected by B and non-B viruses, respectively. Neutralization assays were carried out with TZM-bl cells, using a panel of 10 primary isolates of 6 clades (A, B, C, F, CRF01_AE, and CRF02_AG), selected for their moderate or low sensitivity to neutralization. Neutralization breadths were not statistically different between T and NT mothers. However, a few statistically significant differences were observed, with higher frequencies or titers of NAbs toward several individual strains for NT mothers when the clade B-infected or non-clade B-infected mothers were analyzed separately. Our study confirms that the breadth of maternal NAbs is not associated with protection of infants from infection.

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