Injections of neutralizing monoclonal antibodies given to infant rhesus macaque monkeys starting within 24 hours of their exposure to SHIV, HIV’s simian cousin, cleared the animals of the virus in a recent trial. Publishing their findings in Nature Medicine, researchers exposed one-month-old macaques to SHIV orally and then injected them subcutaneously (under the skin) with the antibodies one, four, seven and 10 days after their exposure to the virus.
Among control animals that did not receive the antibodies, the researchers found replicating virus in multiple tissues one day after exposure to SHIV. Six months after their first antibody treatment, the treated monkeys had no virus in blood or tissues. The researchers also could not detect, using highly sensitive tests, any SHIV-specific immune cell responses in the blood or tissues upon examination after the animals were euthanized.
The researchers concluded that the antibody treatment can prevent the establishment of the viral reservoir, at least in these primates.
To read a press release about the study, click here.
To read the study abstract, click here.