Quantitative Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)-1 Antibodies Correlate With Plasma HIV-1 RNA and Cell-associated DNA Levels in Children on Antiretroviral Therapy

UMMS Affiliation

Program in Molecular Medicine; Department of Quantitative Health Sciences

Publication Date


Document Type



Immunology of Infectious Disease | Immunoprophylaxis and Therapy | Infectious Disease | Pediatrics | Therapeutics | Translational Medical Research | Virus Diseases | Viruses


Background: This study measured serial plasma human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1-specific antibody (Ab) levels in children who initiated antiretroviral therapy (ART) prior to 2 years of age, and evaluated their relationship to peripheral blood HIV-1 RNA and DNA levels.

Methods: We studied 46 HIV-1-infected children, stratified by age at ART initiation ( < 3 mo, early therapy [ET]; > 3 mo-2 years, late therapy [LT]) and by virologic response (R) or non-response (NR), before and up to 4 years following ART. We studied 20 HIV-1-uninfected children born to HIV-1-infected mothers (seroreverters [SR]) as controls. Plasma immunoglobulin G (IgG) Ab levels directed against HIV-1 envelope (gp160, gp41), gag (capsid, p24; matrix, p17), reverse transcriptase (p66/51), and integrase (p31) were serially measured using quantitative enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. HIV-1 Ab rates of decline were estimated over the first 15 months of the study.

Results: The HIV-1 Ab rates of decline in the ET-R group were similar to those in the SR group for all Ab specificities, except for p17 (P = .01). Ab decline rates in the LT-R group and the NR group were significantly slower than in the SR group for all tested Ab specificities. After 1 year of age, Ab levels to p31 and p17 were significantly associated with HIV-1 RNA levels (P < .001); Ab levels to gp160 (P < .001) and gp41 (P < .001) were significantly associated with cell-associated HIV-1 DNA levels.

Conclusions: Quantitative HIV-1-specific Ab levels may be useful for screening children on ART for viral suppression or for residual, cell-associated HIV-1 DNA levels.

Clinical Trials Registration: NCT00000872.


pediatric early antiretroviral therapy, HIV-1 persistence, HIV-1 quantitative antibodies, UMCCTS funding

DOI of Published Version



Clin Infect Dis. 2018 Sep 5. pii: 5090954. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciy753. [Epub ahead of print] Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Clinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID