Skip to main content

Polyclonal HIV envelope-specific breast milk antibodies limit founder SHIV acquisition and cell-associated virus loads in infant rhesus monkeys.

Breast milk HIV-1 transmission is currently the predominant contributor to pediatric HIV infections. Yet, only ~10% of breastfeeding infants born to untreated HIV-infected mothers become infected. This study assessed the protective capacity of natural HIV envelope-specific antibodies isolated from the milk of HIV-infected women in an infant rhesus monkey (RM), tier 2 SHIV oral challenge model. To mimic placental and milk maternal antibody transfer, infant RMs were i.v. infused and orally treated at the time of challenge with a single weakly neutralizing milk monoclonal antibody (mAb), a tri-mAb cocktail with weakly neutralizing and ADCC functionalities, or an anti-influenza control mAb. Of these groups, the fewest tri-mAb-treated infants had SHIV detectable in plasma or tissues (2/6, 5/6, and 7/8 animals infected in tri-mAb, single-mAb, and control-mAb groups, respectively). Tri-mAb-treated infants demonstrated significantly fewer plasma transmitted/founder variants and reduced peripheral CD4+ T cell proviral loads at 8 weeks post-challenge compared to control mAb-treated infants. Abortive infection was observed as detectable CD4+ T cell provirus in non-viremic control mAb- and single mAb-, but not in tri-mAb-treated animals. These results suggest that polyfunctional milk antibodies contribute to the natural inefficiency of HIV-1 transmission through breastfeeding and infant vaccinations eliciting non-neutralizing antibody responses could reduce postnatal HIV transmission.

Citation: 

Himes, Jonathon E., Ria Goswami, Riley J. Mangan, Amit Kumar, Thomas L. Jeffries, Joshua A. Eudailey, Holly Heimsath, et al. “Polyclonal HIV envelope-specific breast milk antibodies limit founder SHIV acquisition and cell-associated virus loads in infant rhesus monkeys..” Mucosal Immunol 11, no. 6 (November 2018): 1716–26. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41385-018-0067-7.

Published Date: 
Thursday, November 1, 2018
Published In: 
Mucosal Immunol
PMID: 
30115994