Interplay of HIV-1 phenotype and neutralizing antibody response in pathogenesis of AIDS

Gabriella Scarlatti, Thomas Leitner, Vida Hodara, Marianne Jansson, Anders Karlsson, Johan Wahlberg, Paolo Rossi, Mathias Uhlén, Eva Maria Fenyö, Jan Albert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A majority of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infected individuals display a rapid loss of CD4+ lymphocytes with fast progression towards overt acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). However, a small proportion of individuals infected by HIV-1 remain immunologically intact for many years. In order to identify factors that might influence the pathogenesis of HIV-1 infection, 21 Italian mothers and 11 Swedish homosexual men were studied for the presence of autologous neutralizing antibodies in serum, biological phenotype of virus isolates and envelope variable region 3 (V3) sequences. The results were compared to the risk of mother-to-child transmission and progression of the disease. The presence of a neutralizing antibody response to the autologous virus as well as a virus with slow replicative capacity were linked both to low risk of mother-to-child transmission and non-progression of the disease. Patients whose peripheral blood mononuclear cells contained a mutation in the tip of the V3 loop (Arg318 to serine, lysine or leucine) significantly more often had neutralizing antibodies to autologous virus isolates containing arginine at this position. Thus, it appears that the interplay and balance between neutralizing antibody response of the host and the biological phenotype of HIV-1 strongly influence pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-28
Number of pages6
JournalImmunology Letters
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1996


  • Disease progression
  • HIV-1
  • Mother-to-child transmission
  • Neutralization
  • Pathogenesis
  • Virus phenotype

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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