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How an antibody combats HIV

Nature volume 533, page 149 (12 May 2016) | Download Citation

A broadly neutralizing antibody against HIV can both boost people's immunity to the virus and directly target infected cells.

The antibody, 3BNC117, has previously been shown to lower HIV levels in the blood of patients. To study its effect on the immune system, Michel Nussenzweig of the Rockefeller University in New York City and his colleagues gave people with HIV one dose of the antibody. They found that patients with higher levels of the virus in their blood developed much broader neutralizing-antibody responses to HIV over six months than did those who had little to no virus (either uninfected individuals or people taking antiretroviral therapies). This indicated that the antibody is boosting the patients' ability to produce other HIV-neutralizing antibodies.

In a second study, a team led by Nussenzweig and Arup Chakraborty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge showed that the same antibody speeds up the removal of HIV-infected T cells from the blood of mice.

Science; (2016)

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