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HIV-1 therapy with monoclonal antibody 3BNC117 elicits host immune responses against HIV-1

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Science  20 May 2016:
Vol. 352, Issue 6288, pp. 997-1001
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf0972

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Insights into antibody therapy for HIV-1

Despite the success of antiretroviral therapy, HIV-1-infected individuals still harbor latent virus. Thus, other therapeutic strategies are needed. A single injection of a broad and potent monoclonal antibody targeting the HIV-1 envelope protein reduced viral loads in HIV-1-infected individuals, albeit only transiently. Lu et al. now report that antibody treatment not only blocked free virus from infecting new cells, it also accelerated the clearance of infected cells. Furthermore, Schoofs et al. demonstrate that therapeutic antibody treatment enhanced infected individuals' humoral response against the virus. Thus, neutralizing antibodies may be a promising therapy for HIV-1 because of their potential to reduce the viral reservoir.

Science, this issue pp. 1001 and 997

Abstract

3BNC117 is a broad and potent neutralizing antibody to HIV-1 that targets the CD4 binding site on the viral envelope spike. When administered passively, this antibody can prevent infection in animal models and suppress viremia in HIV-1–infected individuals. Here we report that HIV-1 immunotherapy with a single injection of 3BNC117 affects host antibody responses in viremic individuals. In comparison to untreated controls that showed little change in their neutralizing activity over a 6-month period, 3BNC117 infusion significantly improved neutralizing responses to heterologous tier 2 viruses in nearly all study participants. We conclude that 3BNC117-mediated immunotherapy enhances host humoral immunity to HIV-1.

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