Neutralizing antibody VRC01 failed to select for HIV-1 mutations upon viral rebound

Evan M. Cale, Hongjun Bai, Meera Bose, Michael A. Messina, Donn J. Colby, Eric Sanders-Buell, Bethany Dearlove, Yifan Li, Emily Engeman, Daniel Silas, Anne Marie O'Sullivan, Brendan Mann, Suteeraporn Pinyakorn, Jintana Intasan, Khunthalee Benjapornpong, Carlo Sacdalan, Eugène Kroon, Nittaya Phanuphak, Robert Gramzinski, Sandhya VasanMerlin L. Robb, Nelson L. Michael, Rebecca M. Lynch, Robert T. Bailer, Amélie Pagliuzza, Nicolas Chomont, Amarendra Pegu, Nicole A. Doria-Rose, Lydie Trautmann, Trevor A. Crowell, John R. Mascola, Jintanat Ananworanich, Sodsai Tovanabutra, Morgane Rolland*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Infusion of the broadly neutralizing antibody VRC01 has been evaluated in individuals chronically infected with HIV-1. Here, we studied how VRC01 infusions affected viral rebound after cessation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in 18 acutely treated and durably suppressed individuals. Viral rebound occurred in all individuals, yet VRC01 infusions modestly delayed rebound and participants who showed a faster decay of VRC01 in serum rebounded more rapidly. Participants with strains most sensitive to VRC01 or with VRC01 epitope motifs similar to known VRC01-susceptible strains rebounded later. Upon rebound, HIV-1 sequences were indistinguishable from those sampled at diagnosis. Across the cohort, participant-derived Env showed different sensitivity to VRC01 neutralization (including 2 resistant viruses), yet neutralization sensitivity was similar at diagnosis and after rebound, indicating the lack of selection for VRC01 resistance during treatment interruption. Our results showed that viremia rebounded despite the absence of HIV-1 adaptation to VRC01 and an average VRC01 trough of 221 μg/mL. Although VRC01 levels were insufficient to prevent a resurgent infection, knowledge that they did not mediate Env mutations in acute-like viruses is relevant for antibody-based strategies in acute infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3299-3304
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes


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