Susceptibility of recently transmitted subtype B human immunodeficiency virus type 1 variants to broadly neutralizing antibodies

J Virol. 2007 Aug;81(16):8533-42. doi: 10.1128/JVI.02816-06. Epub 2007 May 23.


The ability of the broadly neutralizing human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) specific human monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) b12, 2G12, 2F5, and 4E10 to neutralize recently transmitted viruses has not yet been explored in detail. We investigated the neutralization sensitivity of subtype B HIV-1 variants obtained from four primary HIV infection cases and six transmission couples (four homosexual and two parenteral) to these MAbs. Sexually transmitted HIV-1 variants isolated within the first 2 months after seroconversion were generally sensitive to 2F5, moderately resistant to 4E10 and b12, and initially resistant but later more sensitive to 2G12 neutralization. In the four homosexual transmission couples, MAb neutralization sensitivity of HIV in recipients did not correlate with the MAb neutralization sensitivity of HIV from their source partners, whereas the neutralization sensitivity of donor and recipient viruses involved in parenteral transmission was more similar. For a fraction (11%) of the HIV-1 variants analyzed here, neutralization by 2G12 could not be predicted by the presence of N-linked glycosylation sites previously described to be involved in 2G12 binding. Resistance to 2F5 and 4E10 neutralization did also not correlate with mutations in the respective core epitopes. Overall, we observed that the neutralization resistance of recently transmitted subtype B HIV-1 variants was relatively high. Although 8 of 10 patients had viruses that were sensitive to neutralization by at least one of the four broadly neutralizing antibodies studied, 4 of 10 patients harbored at least one virus variant that seemed resistant to all four antibodies. Our results suggest that vaccine antigens that only elicit antibodies equivalent to b12, 2G12, 2F5, and 4E10 may not be sufficient to protect against all contemporary HIV-1 variants and that additional cross-neutralizing specificities need to be sought.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • AIDS Vaccines / immunology
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology*
  • Antigens, Viral / chemistry
  • Antigens, Viral / immunology
  • Epitopes / chemistry
  • Epitopes / immunology
  • Gene Products, env / chemistry
  • Gene Products, env / immunology
  • HIV Antibodies / immunology*
  • HIV Infections / immunology*
  • HIV Infections / transmission
  • HIV-1 / immunology*
  • HIV-1 / isolation & purification
  • Homosexuality, Male
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neutralization Tests


  • AIDS Vaccines
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, Viral
  • Epitopes
  • Gene Products, env
  • HIV Antibodies