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Lower Broadly Neutralizing Antibody Responses in Female Versus Male HIV-1 Infected Injecting Drug Users

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Euler Zelda, VAN DEN KERKHOF Tom L., KOUYOS Roger D., TULLY Damien C., ALLEN Todd M., TRKOLA Alexandra, SANDERS Rogier W., SCHUITEMAKER Hanneke, VAN GILS Marit J.,
Project Understanding HIV-1 broadly neutralizing antibody evolution - The Swiss 4.5K Screen
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Viruses
Volume (Issue) 11(4)
Page(s) 384 - 384
Title of proceedings Viruses
DOI 10.3390/v11040384

Open Access

Type of Open Access Publisher (Gold Open Access)


Understanding the factors involved in the development of broadly neutralizing antibody (bNAb) responses in natural infection can guide vaccine design aimed at eliciting protective bNAb responses. Most of the studies to identify and study the development of bNAb responses have been performed in individuals who had become infected via homo- or heterosexual HIV-1 transmission; however, the prevalence and characteristics of bNAb responses in injecting drug users (IDUs) have been underrepresented. We retrospectively studied the prevalence of bNAb responses in HIV-1 infected individuals in the Amsterdam Cohort, including 50 male and 35 female participants who reported injecting drug use as the only risk factor. Our study revealed a significantly lower prevalence of bNAb responses in females compared to males. Gender, transmission route and CD4+ count at set point, but not viral load, were independently associated with the development of bNAb responses in IDUs. To further explore the influences of gender in the setting of IDU, we also looked into the Swiss 4.5k Screen. There we observed lower bNAb responses in female IDUs as well. These results reveal that the emergence of bNAbs may be dependent on multiple factors, including gender. Therefore, the effect of gender on the development of bNAb responses is a factor that should be taken into account when designing vaccine efficacy trials.