Complete protection of neonatal rhesus macaques against oral exposure to pathogenic simian-human immunodeficiency virus by human anti-HIV monoclonal antibodies

J Infect Dis. 2004 Jun 15;189(12):2167-73. doi: 10.1086/420833. Epub 2004 May 26.


Because milk-borne transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) diminishes the benefits of perinatal antiviral drug therapy in developing countries, we have developed a new strategy to prevent postnatal and, possibly, intrapartum virus transmission in a primate model. Eight neonatal rhesus macaques were exposed orally to pathogenic simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV); 4 neonates were then given intramuscular postexposure prophylaxis with 3 anti-HIV human neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (nMAbs) with potent cross-clade and cross-group neutralization activity. Untreated infants experienced high viral RNA levels and CD4(+) T-cell losses and died (median survival time, 5.5 weeks). In contrast, all 4 nMAb-treated neonates were protected from infection (P=.028); their plasma, peripheral blood mononuclear cells, and lymph nodes remained virus negative for >1 year. These data are important for designing clinical trials in human neonates and have general implications for AIDS vaccine development, as the epitopes recognized by the 3 nMAbs are conserved among diverse primary isolates.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / administration & dosage
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology*
  • Cross Reactions
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • HIV Antibodies / administration & dosage
  • HIV Antibodies / immunology*
  • HIV Infections / immunology
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • HIV-1 / pathogenicity*
  • Humans
  • Immunization, Passive
  • Infant
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical / prevention & control
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Neutralization Tests
  • Simian Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / immunology
  • Simian Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / prevention & control*
  • Simian Immunodeficiency Virus / pathogenicity*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • HIV Antibodies