Neutralizing of human immunodeifiency virus type 1 by complemented occurs by viral lysis

Gregory T. Spear, Brenda L. Sullivan, Alan L. Landay, Thomas F. Lint

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


The ability of complement to inactivate human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the presence of specific antibody was evaluated. HIV was treated with complement and/or antibody, and then its titer was determined on the CD4+ H9 cell line. While complement alone had no effect on the HIV titer, complement plus subneutralizing level of antibody resulted in titer reductions. Complement sources deficient in membrane attack component C5 or C8 did not inactivate antibody-treated HIV, suggesting that neutralization occurred via lysis. This possibility was investigated by assessing release of reverse transcriptase (RT) from the virion. Antibody plus complement, but neither reagent alone, release RT from HIV in a dose-dependent manner. Release of RT did not occur with C5- or C8-deficient sera, also indicating a requirement for membrane attack components. These studies show that complement can neutralize HIV via the classical complement pathway and that this neutralization occurs via C5b-9-mediated viral lysis. Thus, complement may play a major role in resistance to disease by lysing HIV and preventing infection of Fc- receptor-positive cells, as well as CD4 + cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5869-5873
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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