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Virology. 1998 Jul 5;246(2):370-8.

Mechanisms of resistance of HIV-1 primary isolates to complement-mediated lysis.

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Department of Immunology/Microbiology, Rush University, Chicago, Illinois 60612, USA.


Previous studies suggested that HIV-1 primary isolates (PI) were resistant to complement-mediated lysis (CML), while virus produced in certain T cell lines and virus taken directly from the plasma of HIV+ persons were both susceptible to CML. The purpose of this study was to investigate the mechanism(s) of PI resistance. PI were resistant to CML using pooled seropositive serum as an antibody source. Additionally, PI obtained from two patients at several times over 2 years were resistant to CML using autologous antibody. PI were also resistant to CML induced by monoclonal antibodies which neutralize a broad range of PI. Resistance to CML was associated with low binding of antibody to PI but was not due to low gp120 levels. Cell-line-derived virus and PI were equally sensitive to CML induced by antibody to host-cell proteins, suggesting that PBMC do not contribute properties to virions which make them more physically resistant to CML in general but that PI resistance is restricted to CML induced by antiviral antibody. These studies show that PI are resistant to CML mediated by various antiviral antibodies and indicate that low binding of antibody to virus is an important factor contributing to resistance.

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