The effectiveness of virus-specific strategies, including administered HIV-specific mAbs, to target cells that persistently harbor latent, rebound-competent HIV genomes during combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) has been limited by inefficient induction of viral protein expression. To examine antibody-mediated viral reservoir targeting without a need for viral induction, we used an anti-CD4 mAb to deplete both infected and uninfected CD4+ T cells. Ten rhesus macaques infected with barcoded SIVmac239M received cART for 93 weeks starting 4 days after infection. During cART, 5 animals received 5 to 6 anti-CD4 antibody administrations and CD4+ T cell populations were then allowed 1 year on cART to recover. Despite profound CD4+ T cell depletion in blood and lymph nodes, time to viral rebound following cART cessation was not significantly delayed in anti-CD4-treated animals compared with controls. Viral reactivation rates, determined based on rebounding SIVmac239M clonotype proportions, also were not significantly different in CD4-depleted animals. Notably, antibody-mediated depletion was limited in rectal tissue and negligible in lymphoid follicles. These results suggest that, even if robust viral reactivation can be achieved, antibody-mediated viral reservoir depletion may be limited in key tissue sites.
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