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AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2006 Jul;22(7):640-7.

The effects of early antiretroviral therapy and its discontinuation on the HIV-specific antibody response.

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Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, 94143, USA.


HIV-specific antibodies become detectable and continue to increase in frequency during primary infection. The effects of early antiretroviral treatment (ART) and its discontinuation on the evolution of this immune response have not been systematically analyzed. To investigate the associations between antibody titer, viral load, and ART, we used a less-sensitive enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay (LS-EIA) to measure changes in HIV-1-specific antibody levels in treated and untreated subjects undergoing primary infection. In this longitudinal study, antibody levels gradually increased in therapy-naive subjects, reaching a plateau approximately 40 weeks postinfection. In contrast, antibody titers remained low among subjects receiving ART. Subjects who discontinued ART exhibited a more rapid rise in antibody titers than therapy-naive subjects, suggesting the presence of an enhanced B cell response. These results demonstrate that early ART prevents the typical evolution of the HIV-1-specific antibody response and can alter the expected kinetics of this response in subjects discontinuing therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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