The role of antibodies in HIV-1 infection is investigated using a discrete-time mathematical model that considers cell-free and cell-associated transmission of the virus. Model analysis shows that the effect of each type of antibody is dependent on the stage of the infection. Neutralizing antibodies are efficient in controlling the viral levels in the early days after seroconversion and antibodies that coat HIV-1-infected cells and recruit effector cells to either kill the HIV-1-infected cells or inhibit viral replication are efficient when the infection becomes established. Model simulations show that antibodies that inhibit viral replication are more effective in controlling the infection than those that recruit Natural Killer T cells after infection establishment. The model was fitted to subjects of the Tsedimoso study conducted in Botswana and conclusions similar to elasticity analysis results were obtained. Model fitting results predicted that neutralizing antibodies are more efficient in controlling the viral levels than antibodies that coat HIV-1-infected cells and recruit effector cells to either kill the HIV-1-infected cells or inhibit viral replication in the early days after seroconversion.
antibodies HIV infection antibody-dependent cell-mediated virus inhibition antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity