Host Controls of HIV Neutralizing Antibodies

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Science  09 May 2014:
Vol. 344, Issue 6184, pp. 588-589
DOI: 10.1126/science.1254990

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A key goal of developing a vaccine for human immunodeficiency virus–1 (HIV-1) is that it should stimulate the production of broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) that recognize conserved regions of the viral envelope. Unfortunately, no candidate vaccine has proved capable of eliciting such antibodies, possibly because conserved epitopes are obscured by dense glycan “shields” on the viral surface, or because of a failure to produce HIV-1 envelope immunogens that retain their native structure. After 20 years of immunization studies and three HIV-1 vaccine efficacy trials, the induction of bnAb responses by HIV vaccines remains elusive. However, progress in circumventing host factors that limit bnAb induction is now leading to new concepts in vaccinology and immunogen design that hopefully can be applied not only to HIV-1, but also to other vaccines in need of bnAb induction such as for hepatitis C and influenza viral infections.