Passive immunotherapy shows promise in suppressing HIV
A new study has revealed that passive immunotherapy to repress HIV may provide effective results in the absence of drug treatment.
Scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), established that passive immunotherapy for HIV was an experimental strategy that involves periodically administering broadly neutralizing HIV-specific antibodies (bNAbs) to control the virus.
It would be advantageous to control HIV without antiretroviral drugs because of their cost, the potential for cumulative toxicities from lifelong therapy, and the difficulties some patients have adhering to drug regimens and tolerating certain drugs.
The researchers found that several bNAbs, particularly PGT121, VRC01 and VRC03, effectively blocked HIV from entering the CD4+ T cells obtained from uninfected healthy donors. In addition, the scientists demonstrated in the laboratory that these antibodies could completely block HIV replication in CD4+ T cells obtained from infected individuals receiving antiretroviral therapy.
The researchers concluded that passive immunotherapy involving bNAbs individually or in combination may control HIV in the absence of antiretroviral therapy. A number of clinical trials are already underway or planned to test this hypothesis.
(Posted on 27-08-2014)