Administering generally neutralizing antibodies (bNAb) designed to target HIV, in combination with agents that stimulate the innate immune system delays viral rebound after discontinuation of ART in monkeys, suggesting that this two-pronged approach represents a potential strategy for targeting the viral pool.
The research was carried out at the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC). The combination of the antibodies and the immune stimulant led to optimal killing of HIV-infected cells. Data suggests a mechanism by which the combination therapy stimulated innate immunity and rendered infected cells more susceptible to elimination.
The researchers studied 44 rhesus monkeys infected with an HIV-like virus and treated with ART for two and a half years, starting one week after infection. This study provides an initial proof-of-concept showing a potential strategy to target the viral reservoir.