Neutralizing antibodies against adeno-associated viruses in Sjögren's patients: implications for gene therapy

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One potential setback to the use of gene therapy for the treatment of Sjögren's syndrome is the presence of neutralizing antibodies (nAb) against adeno-associated virus (AAV) serotypes. In order to evaluate the efficacy of this treatment option, nAb titers were measured in both healthy individuals and Sjögren's patients. Several serotypes with known transduction activity in mouse salivary glands were tested and only AAV5 showed a statistically significant change in the prevalence of nAbs between Sjögren's and healthy participants. Both groups showed a higher rate of nAbs for AAV2 compared with most of the other serotypes tested, except for bovine AAV (BAAV). Although a similar rate of seropositivity was seen against BAAV and AAV2, the percentage of samples with high titer was significantly lower with BAAV. Furthermore, the majority of positive samples exhibited low nAb titers in the primary Sjögren's syndrome (pSS) group for all serotypes except for AAV2. AAV5 was the only serotype that showed a statistically significant shift in the percentage of medium or high neutralizing titer. Based on these results, many serotypes are viable vectors in a gene therapy approach and pSS patients do not have a statistically significant higher rate of seropositivity or titer compared with healthy donors.

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