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J Infect Dis. 2015 Feb 15;211(4):529-38. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiu486. Epub 2014 Aug 28.

Antibody-dependent effector functions against HIV decline in subjects receiving antiretroviral therapy.

Author information

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, University of Melbourne, Parkville.
Thai Red Cross AIDS Research Centre, HIV Netherlands Australia Thailand Research Collaboration, Bangkok, Thailand.
Kirby Institute for Infection and Immunity in Society, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
Kirby Institute for Infection and Immunity in Society, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia Medical Research Council Clinical Trials Unit, Department of Infection and Population Health, University College London, United Kingdom.



Combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) effectively controls human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection but does not eliminate HIV, and lifelong treatment is therefore required. HIV-specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) responses decline following cART initiation. Alterations in other HIV-specific immune responses that may assist in eliminating latent HIV infection, specifically antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) and antibody-dependent phagocytosis (ADP), are unclear.


A cohort of 49 cART-naive HIV-infected subjects from Thailand (mean baseline CD4 count, 188 cells/µL; mean viral load, 5.4 log10 copies/mL) was followed for 96 weeks after initiating cART. ADCC and ADP assays were performed using serum samples obtained at baseline and after 96 weeks of cART.


A 35% reduction in HIV type 1 envelope (Env)-specific ADCC-mediated killing of target cells (P<.001) was observed after 96 weeks of cART. This was corroborated by a significant reduction in the ability of Env-specific ADCC antibodies to activate natural killer cells (P<.001). Significantly reduced ADP was also observed after 96 weeks of cART (P=.018).


This longitudinal study showed that cART resulted in significant reductions of HIV-specific effector antibody responses, including ADCC and ADP. Therapeutic vaccines or other immunomodulatory approaches may be required to improve antibody-mediated control of HIV during cART.


ADCC; ADP; HIV; NK cells; cART; monocytes

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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