Potency of HIV-2-specific antibodies increase in direct association with loss of memory B cells

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Potent HIV-neutralizing antibodies are critical for vaccination and viral reservoir control. High levels of neutralizing antibodies characterize HIV-2 infection, a naturally occurring model of attenuated HIV disease with low-to-undectable viremia. We found that HIV-2-specific antibody potency increased in direct association with the loss of both switched and unswitched memory B cells in untreated HIV-2 infection. Thus, HIV antibody affinity maturation is linked to memory B-cell exhaustion even in reduced viremia settings.

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