Cross-Neutralizing Antibody Profile of Chinese HIV-1-Infected Individuals and the Viral Envelope Features From Elite Neutralizers

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Objective:Knowledge about the profile of neutralization responses and the viral envelope features of HIV-1-infected individuals in China may provide new insights for vaccine design against local viruses.Methods:Eight hundred sixty plasma samples from antiretroviral treatment-naive HIV-1-infected individuals in Xinjiang province (611) and Guangxi province (249), who had acquired infection over 3 years through intravenous drug use or sexual contact, were examined for their ability to neutralize diverse envelope-pseudoviruses of 5 subtypes. The sequence features of the envelopes from elite neutralizers were analyzed.Results:From Xinjiang and Guangxi, 29.1% and 5.2% of plasmas displayed intrasubtype cross neutralization against subtype B and subtype C, respectively. From Xinjiang, 10.6% of the plasmas displayed broad neutralization against the 3 subtypes, B, C, and CRF01_AE; whereas only 2.4% from Guangxi displayed broad neutralization. Envelopes from 6 elite neutralizers were obtained by single-genome amplification. The variations of their envelopes including the lengths, glycans, and net charges in V1, V2, and V4 regions were compared with those from CRF07_BC env sequences from the HIV Sequence Database. The Envs from 3 elite neutralizers displayed the sensitivities to the monoclonal broadly neutralizing antibodies such as PG9, PG16, and 4E10. Some unique characteristics of the envelope glycoproteins from the Chinese elite neutralizers were found.Conclusions:The neutralization profile of HIV-1-infected individuals in the 2 regions of China, where the HIV-1 subtypes are the representative in China, and the unique characteristics of the envelope glycoproteins from the Chinese elite neutralizers provide useful information for viral infection prevention and an insight for vaccine design against locally epidemic viruses.

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