Broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) represent a new generation of antiviral agents for the prevention and treatment of human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1) infection. A better understanding of the in vivo efficacy of HIV-1 bNAbs, such as VRC01, in preventing mucosal transmission of HIV-1 has important implications for HIV-1 vaccine design. In this study, we evaluated the efficacy of passively transferred VRC01 antibody in preventing HIV-1 vaginal and rectal transmission in humanized bone marrow/liver/thymus mice (hu-BLT mice). Mice were subcutaneously injected with VRC01 IgG, and 24 hours later, they were challenged intravaginally or intrarectally with HIV-1Ada. All hu-BLT mice receiving VRC01 IgG antibody were aviremic at 2 weeks after intravaginal (n = 3) or intrarectal (n = 6) challenge as measured by quantitative real-time RT-PCR. In contrast, mice receiving control IgG all became infected. By 5 and 6 weeks post-challenge, some of VRC01 aviremic mice in both the intravaginal and intrarectal challenge groups became viremic. Our results suggest that VRC01 antibody can be protective against HIV-1 vaginal and rectal transmission; however, a single administration of VRC01 cannot completely prevent mucosal infection.
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