Approaches to the induction of HIV broadly neutralizing antibodies

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Abstract

Purpose of review

A vaccine that elicits antibody responses that can neutralize the diversity of HIV clades has not yet been achieved, and is a major focus of HIV vaccine research. Here, we provide an update on the barriers to eliciting such antibodies, and how advances in immunogen design may circumvent these roadblocks, focusing on data published in the last year.

Recent findings

Studies of how broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) develop in HIV-infected donors continue to produce key insights, suggesting that for some viral targets there are common pathways to developing breadth. Germline-targeting strategies, that aim to recruit rare precursors of bNAbs, have shown promise in immunogenicity studies, and structural biology has led to advances in immunogen design. Mapping of strain-specific tier 2 vaccine responses has highlighted the challenges that remain in driving antibodies toward breadth.

Summary

Elucidation of the HIV envelope structure, together with an understanding of how bNAbs emerge in vivo has guided the design of new immunogens and vaccine strategies that show promise for eliciting protective antibodies.

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