Common themes of antibody maturation to simian immunodeficiency virus, simian-human immunodeficiency virus, and human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infections
Cole, K.S.; Murphey-Corb, M.; Narayan, O.; Joag, S.V.; Shaw, G.M.; Montelaro, R.C.
Journal of Virology 72(10): 7852-7859
Characterization of virus-specific immune responses to human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) is important to understanding the early virus-host interactions that may determine the course of virus infection and disease. Using a comprehensive panel of serological assays, we have previously demonstrated a complex and lengthy maturation of virus-specific antibody responses elicited by attenuated strains of SIV that was closely associated with the development of protective immunity. In the present study, we expand these analyses to address several questions regarding the nature of the virus-specific antibody responses to pathogenic SIV, SIV/HIV-1 (SHIV), and HIV-1 infections. The results demonstrate for the first time a common theme of antibody maturation to SIV, SHIV, and HIV-1 infections that is characterized by ongoing changes in antibody titer, conformational dependence, and antibody avidity during the first 6 to 10 months following virus infection. We demonstrate that this gradual evolution of virus-specific antibody responses is independent of the levels of virus replication and the pathogenicity of the infection viral strain. While the serological assays used in these studies were useful in discriminating between protective and nonprotective antibody responses during evaluation of vaccine efficacy with attenuated SIV, these same assays do not distinguish the clinical outcome of infection in pathogenic SIV, SHIV, or HIV-1 infections. These results likely reflect differences in the immune mechanisms involved in mediating protection from virus challenge compared to those that control an established viral infection, and they suggest that additional characteristics of both humoral and cellular responses evolve during this early immune maturation.