Antigen HIV Markers for Clinical Manifestation and Prevention of HTLV- III/LAV Infections
Annual rept. 26 Jan 1987-25 Jan 1988
HARVARD SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH BOSTON MA
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The major objective of the proposed study is to identify HIV gene products and to determine if antibodies elicited by these products can be used to predict clinical outcome of HIV infection. During the first year, studies were conducted to map antigenic domains of gp 120, and to investigate if HIV contains as yet undiscovered genes in its genome. Analysis of serum reactivity to various gp 120 peptides revealed that antibodies to carboxyl portion of gp 120 were more frequently detected in infected individuals who were at earlier stages of HIV infection or in those who were less likely to progress to AIDS. A new HIV gene located in the central region of the genome was also identified. This newly identified gene encodes a 16 kd protein. Antibody to this 16 kd protein was detected in HIV seropositive individuals. Unlike antibody to other HIV proteins, the prevalence of antibody to the 16 kd protein is elevated in patients with AIDS. Because no analogous coding region has been identified in HIV-2, the antibody to the 16 kd protein may serve as a marker to distinguish HIV-1 infection from HIV-2.