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AIDS Rev. 2006 Apr-Jun;8(2):51-9.

The role of neutralizing antibodies in HIV infection.

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Georg-Speyer-Haus, Institute for Biomedical Research, Frankfurt, Germany.


Neutralizing antibodies against HIV-1 play an important role in preventing viral infections. Less clear is their role in the containment of viral replication in infected individuals. However, evidence is accumulating that neutralizing antibodies may help the cellular arm of the immune response to prevent or delay the progression to AIDS. Detection of neutralizing antibodies depends on the in vitro neutralization assays used, and standardization of the assays is essential in order to be able to compare the magnitude and quality of a neutralizing antibody response in sera or other fluids from HIV-infected patients, uninfected HIV-1 exposed persons, or vaccinated animals/persons. Viral mechanisms to prevent neutralization include high variability and extensive glycosylation of the Envelope proteins, Envelope trimerization and shedding as well as late exposure of functionally important entry domains by conformational changes induced upon CD4 binding. These are also the difficulties encountered in the design of immunogens able to induce neutralizing antibodies upon vaccination.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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