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HIV-1 antibodies in prevention of transmission

Barin, Francisa,b; Braibant, Martinea

Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS: July 2019 - Volume 14 - Issue 4 - p 273–278
doi: 10.1097/COH.0000000000000553

Purpose of review To present the data that suggest that antibodies to HIV may prevent HIV-1 infection.

Recent findings Many human monoclonal broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) have been isolated over the last decade. Numerous experiments of passive immunization in nonhuman primate models have allowed to accumulate strong evidences that bnAbs, opposed to nonneutralizing antibodies, are the best candidates to prevent HIV-1 infection. bnAbs counteract HIV-1 by both blocking the virus at the portal of entry and clearing rapidly viral foci established at distance after dissemination of the virus following infection. Cocktails of bnAbs or modified bi/trispecific antibodies will be necessary to counter the large and evolving antigenic diversity of the HIV-1 species. Two large multicenter phase IIb clinical trials have been initiated. Even if they are not conducted with the most recent and most potent bnAb, the results which are expected in 2022 will inform us on the real potency of bnAbs at preventing HIV-1 acquisition in the real life.

Summary If these trials demonstrate the efficacy of bnAbs, they will open the trail toward new strategies for preexposure prophylaxis, eventually postexposure prophylaxis and prevention of mother-to-child transmission.

aUMR Inserm U1259

bCentre National de Référence du VIH-Laboratoire Associé, Université de Tours and Centre Hospitalier Universitaire, Tours, France

Correspondence to Francis Barin, PharmD, PhD, Laboratoire de Virologie, CHU Bretonneau, 37044 Tours Cedex, France. Tel: +33 2 4747 8058; fax: +33 2 4747 3610; e-mail:

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