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In 7/9 patients in whom HAART was initiated during early seroconversion, NAbs to autologous strains were not found immediately following treatment interruption after 1-3 years, and Env and Gag Abs were low or undetected by ELISA indicating, that early HAART suppresses the normal antibody response to HIV-1, presumably by limiting the concentration of viral antigens needed to drive B-cell maturation -- in 3 patients with a viral rebound autologous NAbs rapidly appeared and correlated with spontaneous down-regulation of viremia -- prolonged control of viremia after stopping treatment persisted in the absence of detectable NAbs, suggesting that cellular immune responses alone can control viremia under certain circumstances -- these results support the notion that virus-specific B-cell priming, combined with CD8+ CTL induction, may be beneficial for HIV-1 vaccines that aim to suppress viremia in the absence of complete protection to prevent disease and reduce the rate of virus transmission.
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David C. Montefiori, Tanya S. Hill, Ha T. T. Vo, Bruce D. Walker, and Eric S. Rosenberg. Neutralizing Antibodies Associated with Viremia Control in a Subset of Individuals after Treatment of Acute Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Infection. J. Virol., 75(21):10200-10207, Nov 2001. PubMed ID: 11581388.
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