Low Antigenicity of HIV-1 rev: Rev-Specific Antibody Response of Limited Value as Correlate of rev Gene Expression and Disease Progression

Peter Reiss, Anthony de Ronde, Joep M.a. Lange, Frank de Wolf, John Dekker, Sven A. Danner, Christine Debouck, Jaap Goudsmit*

*Corresponding author for this work

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An enzyme immunoassay based on an E. coli-produced HIV-1 rev gene product was used to detect rev-specific antibodies in longitudinally collected serum samples from 196 initially symptom-free men who were seropositive for antibodies to HIV-1 structural proteins and 72 men who seroconverted for such antibodies. In 61% of men no rev-specific antibodies were detected at all, 30% had persistently detectable rev-specific antibodies, and in 9% rev-specific antibodies were only transiently or intermittently detected. When a persistent rev-specific antibody response occurred in subjects who seroconverted to structural proteins, it was always, with one exception, found within 12 months of seroconversion. The rev-specific antibodies were also studied in a transectional sample of sera from the men who remained symptom-free and from those who developed AIDS-related conditions or AIDS, as well as in sera from 31 other men with AIDS-related conditions and in sera from 6 of these men at the time they developed AIDS. The rev-specific antibodies were found in 34% of symptom-free men, in 28% of patients with AIDS-related conditions, and in 16% of patients with AIDS. The low incidence of rev-specific antibodies early after infection may be due to low antigenicity of rev. The lower prevalence of rev-specific antibodies in sera from patients with AIDS, compared with patients with AIDS-related conditions and symptom-free HIV-1-infected individuals, may be explained by a progressive HIV-1-induced immunodeficiency. Studying rev-specific antibodies in HIV-1-infected individuals will be of limited value in understanding the role of rev in the pathogenesis of HIV-1-related disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)621-628
Number of pages8
JournalAIDS Research and Human Retroviruses
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1989

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