Lack of therapeutic efficacy of an antibody to α4β7 in SIVmac251-infected rhesus macaques

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Science  06 Sep 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6457, pp. 1029-1033
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaw8562

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An antibody is not the antidote

An HIV therapeutic that would give long-term remission without sustained antiretroviral therapy (ART) is a long-term goal. Byrareddy et al. [Science 354, 197 (2016)] reported that treating simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)–positive macaques with an antibody against integrin α4β7 during and after ART results in sustained virologic control after stopping all treatment. Three studies in this issue question the reproducibility of that result. Di Mascio et al. sequenced the virus used in the 2016 study and found that it was a variant with a stop codon in the nef gene rather than a wild-type virus. Abbink et al. used the same antibody for α4β7 as before but tested control of a more commonly used pathogenic virus. Iwamato et al. used the same nef-stop virus as in the earlier paper but combined the antibody against the integrin with an antibody against the SIV envelope glycoprotein, which also blocks viral binding of the integrin. None of these three new studies found that treating with the antibody had any effect on virologic control after stopping ART treatment.

Science, this issue p. 1025, p. 1029, p. 1033


Sustained virologic control of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection after discontinuation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) is a major goal of the HIV-1 cure field. A recent study reported that administration of an antibody against α4β7 induced durable virologic control after ART discontinuation in 100% of rhesus macaques infected with an attenuated strain of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) containing a stop codon in nef. We performed similar studies in 50 rhesus macaques infected with wild-type, pathogenic SIVmac251. In animals that initiated ART during either acute or chronic infection, anti-α4β7 antibody infusion had no detectable effect on the viral reservoir or viral rebound after ART discontinuation. These data demonstrate that anti-α4β7 antibody administration did not provide therapeutic efficacy in the model of pathogenic SIVmac251 infection of rhesus macaques.

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