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Indian J Med Res. 1991 Mar;93:57-61.

Circulating immune complexes in healthy, HIV-antibody positive subjects.

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  • 1National Institute of Virology, Pune.


The components of the circulating immune complexes (CICs) were characterised in asymptomatic HIV seropositive individuals. Forty four of 214 individuals (20.56%) showed the presence of CICs. Specific HIV anti-HIV CICs were detected in 33 of them (75%). The isotypic specificity of antibodies found to these CICs was measured. IgG and IgA immunoglobulin classes were detected in CICs.


The incidence of circulating-immune complexes (CICs) and their human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) antigen and antibody content and isotopes are described in 214 healthy, HIV-infected seropositive individuals from Pune, India. The subjects were commercial blood donors, sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinic patients, foreign students, prostitutes, hemophiliacs and suspected acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) cases. Controls were seronegative persons from similar groups and employees of the research institution. Immune complexes were precipitated, dissolved, and tested for Clq binding with a commercial with a commercial enzyme immunoassay kit (DiaMedix, Florida). Specific HIV-anti HIV immune complexes, HIV-antigens in the CICs, and HIV- antibodies in CICs were determined with EIA and ELISA techniques. 44 of the 214 seropositive subjects had Clq binding above control levels of 20 mcg, and 6 were borderline. Positive values ranged from 20-120 mcg. All controls were normal. 33 of the 44 positives had specific HIV- anti-HIV CICs on solid-phase EIA. 31 persons had detectable HIV antigen in hydrolyzed CIC supernatant solutions. The antibody isotopes in CICs, assessed by single radial immunodiffusion were IgG and IgA immunoglobulins, with IgGs predominating at 250 mg/dl and IgAs measuring 200 mg/dl compared to normal healthy controls. The IgM levels in seropositive subjects did not differ from controls.

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