Evidence for Efficient Vertical Transfer of Maternal HIV-1 Envelope–Specific Neutralizing Antibodies but No Association of Such Antibodies With Reduced Infant Infection
Little is known about the efficiency of vertical transfer of HIV-1-specific antibodies. We compared antibody levels in plasma from 60 mother-infant pairs near the time of birth, including 14 breastfeeding transmission pairs. The Envelope binding titers were strongly correlated (r=0.91, p<0.0001) and similar (1.4-fold greater in maternal plasma) between a mother and her corresponding infant as were the neutralizing antibody (Nab) levels (r = 0.80, p<0.0001; 1.3-fold higher), suggesting efficient transfer. There was no significant difference in Nab responses between transmitting and non-transmitting mothers, although there was a trend for transmitting mothers to have higher HIV-1-specific Nabs.
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