There is a clear need for low-cost, self-applied, long-lasting approaches to prevent human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in both men and women, even with the advent of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Broadly neutralizing antibodies represent an option to improve HIV prophylaxis, but intravenous delivery, cold-chain stability requirements, low cervicovaginal concentrations, and cost may preclude their use. Here, we present an approach to express the anti-GP120 broadly neutralizing antibody PGT121 in the primary site of inoculation, the female reproductive tract, using synthetic mRNA. Expression is achieved through aerosol delivery of unformulated mRNA in water. We demonstrated high levels of antibody expression for over 28 days with a single mRNA administration in the reproductive tract of sheep. In rhesus macaques, neutralizing antibody titers in secretions developed within 4 h and simian-HIV (SHIV) infection of ex vivo explants was prevented. Persistence of PGT121 in vaginal secretions and epithelium was achieved through the incorporation of a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor into the heavy chain of the antibody. Overall, we present a new paradigm to deliver neutralizing antibodies to the female reproductive tract for the prevention of HIV infections.Copyright © 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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