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To prevent the spread of HIV-1, a vaccine should elicit antibodies that block viral entry for all cell types. Recently, we have developed a virus capture assay to quantitatively examine early time points of infection. Here we present data on the ability of bNAbs to inhibit capture (1 h) or replication (48 h) of purified primary acute or chronic HIV or infectious molecular clones (IMCs) in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) as quantified by qRT-PCR. Although bNAbs significantly inhibited HIV-1 replication in PBMCs in a virus subtype and in a PBMC-donor specific manner, they did not inhibit virus capture of primary viruses. In contrast, IMC capture and replication in PBMCs and purified CD4+ T cells were significantly inhibited by bNAbs, thus indicating that unlike IMCs, primary HIV-1 may initially bind to other cell surface molecules, which leads to virus capture even in the presence of bNAbs. Our results demonstrate that the initial interactions and some aspects of infectivity of primary HIV-1 and IMCs are inherently different, which underscores the importance of studying virus transmission using primary viruses in in vitro studies, an issue that could impact HIV-1 vaccine design strategies.


Jiae Kim, Venigalla B Rao, Mangala Rao. Primary HIV-1 and Infectious Molecular Clones Are Differentially Susceptible to Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies. Vaccines. 2020 Dec 21;8(4)

PMID: 33371189

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