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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Immunology - Infectious Diseases - Urology - Virology

Presence of IgG Anti-gp160/120 Antibodies Confers Higher HIV Capture Capacity to Erythrocytes from HIV-Positive Individuals
Published: Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Author: Maria Noé Garcia et al.

by Maria Noé Garcia, Maria Sol dos Ramos Farias, Lucia Fazzi, Daniel Grasso, Roberto Daniel Rabinovich, Maria Mercedes Ávila


HIV binding has been demonstrated in erythrocytes from HIV-positive and HIV-negative individuals. However, the presence of immunoglobulins G anti-HIV (IgG anti-HIV) in erythrocytes from HIV-positive individuals is still to be elucidated. Moreover, the capacity of erythrocytes from HIV-positive individuals to capture an additional amount of HIV has not been studied. Indeed, it is unknown if HIV binding to erythrocytes in HIV-positive persons could have consequences on the cell-free infectious virus available.

Methodology/Principal Findings

IgGs anti-HIV associated to erythrocytes were found in 77.3% (58/75) of the HIV-positive individuals studied and the IgGs anti-gp160 and anti-p24 were the most frequently found. We found a positive association between detectable plasma viral load (pVL) and presence of IgGs anti-HIV associated to erythrocyte (p<0.005), though the anti-p24/160 were present with or without detectable pVL. The HIV capture capacity was higher in erythrocytes from HIV-positive than HIV-negative individuals (p<0.0001). Furthermore, among the HIV-positive individuals the higher viral capture capacity was associated with the presence of anti-gp160/gp120 on erythrocytes. Moreover, the viral capture by erythrocytes was independent of pVL (rho?=?0.022, p?=?0.8817). Additionally, reduction of cell-free infectious virus and available viral load was observed in the presence of erythrocytes from HIV-positive individuals.


Results suggest that in HIV-positive individuals, erythrocytes are capable of capturing high amounts of HIV by the presence of IgGs anti-gp160/120 on their membranes and this may produce a reduction in the available free virus. Finally, the current measurement of pVL would underestimate the real viral quantity due to the HIV binding through specific antibodies to erythrocytes.