Authors: Palma P, Zangari P, Cotugno N, Rocca S, Nastouli E, McCoy LE, Ferns RB, Pahwa S, Rossi P
Published: 24th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, February 13th – 16th, 2017, Seattle. P_1975.
Background It is still unknown whether the paucity of HIV-specific immune responses in early-treated (treated within 6 months of age; ET) HIV-infected children may represent a limitation or an advantage in the perspective of immune therapeutic studies. In ET patients, the failure to develop an immune response is attributed to the lack of antigen (Ag) stimulation, possibly indicating shrinking HIV reservoirs (Luzuriaga, JID 2014). Analysis of HIV antibodies (Ab) can reveal important insights to characterizing host immune profiles associated with HIV remission which appears to be linked with different serological profiles (Burbelo, JID 2014). Recent findings showed a functional plasticity of memory B-cell compartment, suggesting that IgM memory B-cells during a primary stage of infection share specific memory characteristics with IgG memory B-cells. The role of IgM memory responses in humans is debated (Seifert, PNAS 2015). Their generation, in the context of short-term Ag persistence such as in ET HIV-infected children, has been poorly investigated. Our aim was to further dissect Bcell responses in ET patients with different HIV Ab profiles and relate those to the predicted size of HIV reservoir (Total HIV-DNA) and to immune memory B-cell response.