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Lower Broadly Neutralizing Antibody Responses in Female Versus Male HIV-1 Infected Injecting Drug Users

1
Department of Experimental Immunology, Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2
Department of Medical Microbiology, AMC, Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands
3
Institute of Medical Virology, University of Zurich, CH-8057 Zurich, Switzerland
4
Division of Infectious Diseases and Hospital Epidemiology, University Hospital Zurich, CH-8091 Zurich, Switzerland
5
Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
6
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, NY 10065, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Current address: Janssen Vaccines and Prevention BV, Leiden, 2333 CP, The Netherlands.
Viruses 2019, 11(4), 384; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11040384
Received: 7 February 2019 / Revised: 15 April 2019 / Accepted: 17 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
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Abstract

Understanding the factors involved in the development of broadly neutralizing antibody (bNAb) responses in natural infection can guide vaccine design aimed at eliciting protective bNAb responses. Most of the studies to identify and study the development of bNAb responses have been performed in individuals who had become infected via homo- or heterosexual HIV-1 transmission; however, the prevalence and characteristics of bNAb responses in injecting drug users (IDUs) have been underrepresented. We retrospectively studied the prevalence of bNAb responses in HIV-1 infected individuals in the Amsterdam Cohort, including 50 male and 35 female participants who reported injecting drug use as the only risk factor. Our study revealed a significantly lower prevalence of bNAb responses in females compared to males. Gender, transmission route and CD4+ count at set point, but not viral load, were independently associated with the development of bNAb responses in IDUs. To further explore the influences of gender in the setting of IDU, we also looked into the Swiss 4.5k Screen. There we observed lower bNAb responses in female IDUs as well. These results reveal that the emergence of bNAbs may be dependent on multiple factors, including gender. Therefore, the effect of gender on the development of bNAb responses is a factor that should be taken into account when designing vaccine efficacy trials. View Full-Text
Keywords: HIV-1; transmission route; injecting drug users; broadly neutralizing antibodies; gender HIV-1; transmission route; injecting drug users; broadly neutralizing antibodies; gender
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MDPI and ACS Style

EULER, Z.; VAN DEN KERKHOF, T.L.; KOUYOS, R.D.; TULLY, D.C.; ALLEN, T.M.; TRKOLA, A.; SANDERS, R.W.; SCHUITEMAKER, H.; VAN GILS, M.J. Lower Broadly Neutralizing Antibody Responses in Female Versus Male HIV-1 Infected Injecting Drug Users. Viruses 2019, 11, 384.

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