Cross-reactive neutralizing humoral immunity does not protect from HIV type 1 disease progression

J Infect Dis. 2010 Apr 1;201(7):1045-53. doi: 10.1086/651144.


Broadly reactive neutralizing antibodies are the focus of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1 vaccine design. However, only little is known about their role in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) pathogenesis and the factors associated with their development. Here we used a multisubtype panel of 23 HIV-1 variants to determine the prevalence of cross-reactive neutralizing activity in serum samples obtained approximately 35 months after seroconversion from 82 HIV-1 subtype B-infected participants from the Amsterdam Cohort Studies on HIV Infection and AIDS. Of these patients, 33%, 48%, and 20%, respectively, had strong, moderate, or absent cross-reactive neutralizing activity in serum. Viral RNA load at set point and AIDS-free survival were similar for the 3 patient groups. However, higher cross-reactive neutralizing activity was significantly associated with lower CD4(+) T cell counts before and soon after infection. Our findings underscore the importance of vaccine-elicited immunity in protecting from infection. The association between CD4(+) T cell counts and neutralizing humoral immunity may provide new clues as to how to achieve this goal.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Neutralizing / blood
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing / immunology*
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood
  • Antibodies, Viral / immunology*
  • CD4 Lymphocyte Count
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross Reactions
  • Disease Progression
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • HIV Infections / immunology*
  • HIV-1 / immunology*
  • Homosexuality, Male
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Neutralization Tests / methods
  • Prevalence
  • RNA, Viral / blood
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Viral Load


  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • RNA, Viral