Anti-HIV antibody development up to one year after antiretroviral therapy initiation in acute HIV infection.
Early initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in acute HIV infection (AHI) is effective in limiting seeding of the HIV viral reservoir, but little is known about how the resultant decreased antigen load affects long-term antibody development after ART. We report here that Env-specific plasma antibody levels and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) increased during the first 24 weeks of ART and correlated with antibody levels persisting after 48 weeks of ART. Participants treated in AHI stage 1 had lower Env-specific antibodies levels and ADCC activity on ART than those treated later. Importantly, participants who initiated ART after peak viremia in AHI developed elevated cross-clade ADCC responses detectable one year after ART initiation even though clinically undetectable viremia was reached by 24 weeks. These data suggest that there is more germinal center activity in the later stages of AHI and that antibody development continues in the absence of detectable viremia during the first year of suppressive ART. Development of therapeutic interventions that can enhance earlier development of germinal centers in AHI and antibodies after ART initiation could provide important protection against the viral reservoir that is seeded in early treated individuals.
Mitchell, Julie L., Justin Pollara, Kenneth Dietze, R Whitney Edwards, Junsuke Nohara, Kombo F. N’guessan, Michelle Zemil, et al. “Anti-HIV antibody development up to one year after antiretroviral therapy initiation in acute HIV infection.” J Clin Invest, November 11, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1172/JCI150937.