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Clin Exp Immunol. 1998 Feb;111(2):251-6.

Serum antibodies to HIV-1 are produced post-measles virus infection: evidence for cross-reactivity with HLA.

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Laboratory of Immunology, National Institute on Aging, NIH, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA.


Convalescent sera obtained from patients who were recently recovered from an acute measles virus infection were tested for the presence of anti-HIV-1 antibodies by Western blot analysis. While 16% (17/104) of control sera displayed reactive bands to a variety of HIV proteins, 62% (45/73) of convalescent sera demonstrated immunoreactive bands corresponding to HIV-1 Pol and Gag, but not Env antigens. This cross-reactivity appears to be the result of an active measles infection. No HIV-1 immunoblot reactivity (0/10) was observed in sera obtained from young adults several weeks after a combined measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccination. Interestingly, examination of anti-HLA typing sera specific for either class I and class II molecules revealed that 46% (19/41) of these sera contained cross-reactive antibodies to HIV-1 proteins. Absorption of measles sera with mixed lymphocyte reaction (MLR)-activated lymphocytes and/or HIV-1 recombinant proteins significantly decreased or removed the presence of these HIV-1-immunoreactive antibodies. Together, these findings suggest that the immune response to a natural measles virus infection results in the production of antibodies to HIV-1 and possibly autoantigens.

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