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AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2015 Apr;31(4):421-7. doi: 10.1089/AID.2014.0081. Epub 2014 Nov 19.

Comparison of antibody responses to HIV infection in Ugandan women infected with HIV subtypes A and D.

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1 Laboratory of Immunoregulation, Division of Intramural Research, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases , NIH, Baltimore, Maryland.


We compared the serologic response to HIV infection in Ugandan women with HIV subtype A (N=82) and D (N=32) infection using a limiting antigen avidity assay (LAg-Avidity assay); 2,614 samples were analyzed. Study participants were followed a median of 6.6 years after HIV seroconversion. Samples were classified as assay positive if they had a LAg-Avidity assay result <1.5 normalized optical density units (OD-n). Women with subtype D infection were more likely to have delayed antibody maturation. During the first 2 years after seroconversion, the mean time that women had an assay-positive result (mean duration of recent infection, MDRI) was longer for women with subtype D infection than women with subtype A infection (267.9 days, 95% CI: 231.2-308.2 vs. 167.3 days, 95% CI: 151.8-185.9 days, p<0.01). The MDRI was also longer for women with subtype D infection after excluding low viral load samples and samples from women on antiretroviral therapy (ART). Women infected for >2 years were also more likely to be misclassified as recently infected in they had subtype D infection. Women with subtype D infection were also more likely to have antibody waning compared to women with subtype A infection. These findings may be related to the higher pathogenicity of subtype D HIV infection and are relevant to use of the LAg-Avidity assay for cross-sectional HIV incidence estimation in populations where subtype D infection is prevalent.

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