The present study demonstrates that maternal antibodies to certain epitopes of human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1) proteins are associated with a defined outcome for at-risk pregnancies of HIV-infected women. An initial retrospective analysis of antibodies to synthetic peptides and recombinant proteins representing env, pol, and gag regions of HIV-1 was carried out. Sera studied were from 33 children who were born to HIV-infected mothers and whose clinical outcome was known at the time of analysis. Sera, collected within the first 6 months of life, of uninfected at-risk children were found to selectively contain maternal antibodies to certain peptides containing epitopes of the HIV envelope glycoprotein gp120. To confirm the predictive role of maternal antibodies to defined HIV-1 epitopes, a prospective analysis was then performed on sera from 21 HIV-seropositive mothers and their infants, whose clinical and immunological status was then followed up for a period of at least 15 months. As expected, antibodies to the same envelope protein peptides were detected almost exclusively in sera from mothers of uninfected children. Our data suggest that antibodies against select epitopes of HIV envelope protein gp120 might play an important role in preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV-1 infection. Accordingly, site-directed serology might be used to predict the outcome of an at-risk pregnancy of an HIV-infected woman.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Publication status||Published - 1989|
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