Abstract

A titer for homologous viral neutralization activity (greater than 1:19,683) was observed after a 3.5-year immunization period with an octameric, branching peptide representing the principal neutralizing determinant (PND) of the human immunodeficiency virus-1IIIB envelope protein. Booster immunizations elicited persistent and potent antibodies in guinea pigs, exceeding responses produced by a conventional bovine serum albumin conjugate by 100-fold. Peptide length, central presentation of a conserved sequence, and inclusion of an upstream sequence contributed to immunogenicity. Titers (greater than 1:1,000) of heterotypic neutralizing antibodies also developed. Octameric PND peptides are a promising approach for an acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) vaccine.