Mining for humoral correlates of HIV control and latent reservoir size

PLoS Pathog. 2020 Oct 13;16(10):e1008868. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1008868. eCollection 2020 Oct.


While antiretroviral therapy (ART) has effectively revolutionized HIV care, the virus is never fully eliminated. Instead, immune dysfunction, driven by persistent non-specific immune activation, ensues and progressively leads to premature immunologic aging. Current biomarkers monitoring immunologic changes encompass generic inflammatory biomarkers, that may also change with other infections or disease states, precluding the antigen-specific monitoring of HIV-infection associated changes in disease. Given our growing appreciation of the significant changes in qualitative and quantitative properties of disease-specific antibodies in HIV infection, we used a systems approach to explore humoral profiles associated with HIV control. We found that HIV-specific antibody profiles diverge by spontaneous control of HIV, treatment status, viral load and reservoir size. Specifically, HIV-specific antibody profiles representative of changes in viral load were largely quantitative, reflected by differential HIV-specific antibody levels and Fc-receptor binding. Conversely, HIV-specific antibody features that tracked with reservoir size exhibited a combination of quantitative and qualitative changes marked by more distinct subclass selection profiles and unique HIV-specific Fc-glycans. Our analyses suggest that HIV-specific antibody Fc-profiles provide antigen-specific resolution on both cell free and cell-associated viral loads, pointing to potentially novel biomarkers to monitor reservoir activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Retroviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Biomarkers / blood*
  • HIV Antibodies / blood*
  • HIV Antibodies / immunology
  • HIV Infections / blood*
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections / immunology
  • HIV-1 / drug effects
  • HIV-1 / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Viral Load / drug effects
  • Viral Load / immunology*
  • Virus Latency / drug effects
  • Virus Latency / immunology*
  • Virus Replication*


  • Anti-Retroviral Agents
  • Biomarkers
  • HIV Antibodies