Vertical transmission of human immunodeficiency virus is correlated with the absence of high-affinity/avidity maternal antibodies to the gp120 principal neutralizing domain

Y. Devash, T. A. Calvelli, D. G. Wood, K. J. Reagan, A. Rubinstein

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Many, but not all, infants born to mothers infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are infected in utero. We have now shown that mothers who have high-affinity/avidity antibodies directed toward the principal neutralizing domain (PND) of gp120 are less likely to transmit HIV to their children. An ELISA that preferentially measures the level of the biologically functioning, high-affinity/avidity antibodies against PND is described. In a retrospective study of 15 maternal/neonatal serum samples, the assay correctly identified the 4 uninfected and the 11 HIV-infected infants. Other clinical and laboratory parameters such as p24 antigen, phytohemagglutinin mitogenic index, and absolute surface antigen T4+ cell counts did not accurately predict HIV fetal transmission. In addition to introducing a promising diagnostic tool, this study provides the in vivo evidence that protective antibodies may prevent infection by HIV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3445-3449
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jun 12 1990


ASJC Scopus subject areas

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