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Virology. 2000 Apr 25;270(1):237-49.

Passive infusion of immune serum into simian immunodeficiency virus-infected rhesus macaques undergoing a rapid disease course has minimal effect on plasma viremia.

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The Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center, The Rockefeller University, New York, New York 10016, USA.


Antibody responses are often considered to play only a limited role in controlling viremia during chronic infections with human or simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV). We investigated this by determining the effect of passively infused antibody on plasma viremia in infected rhesus macaques. The emphasis of the study was to understand the mechanism(s) underlying any observed effects. We infused serum immunoglobulins (SIVIG) purified from SIV(mac)251-infected macaques into other SIV(mac)251-infected macaques. The rapid progressor recipients had high viral loads but negligible titers of antibodies to SIV. Thus, we could significantly increase antibody titers with exogenous SIVIG. Despite restoring anti-SIV titers to levels typical of macaques with a normal disease course, SIVIG had only a modest effect on plasma SIV RNA and cell-associated viral load; the maximum, transient, reduction was threefold. The decrease in plasma RNA commenced within 1-2 h of SIVIG infusion, the nadir was at 12 h, and then a rebound occurred. A two- to threefold drop in cell-associated viral RNA was simultaneous with the decrease in plasma RNA. The kinetics of the viremia changes are inconsistent with neutralization of new cycles of infection. More likely, perhaps unexpectedly, is that infused antibodies killed SIV-infected cells, via an effector mechanism such as antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity.

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