Progress in HIV-1 vaccine development

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The past 2 years have seen a number of basic and translational science advances in the quest for development of an effective HIV-1 vaccine. These advances include discovery of new envelope targets of potentially protective antibodies, demonstration that CD8+ T cells can control HIV-1 infection, development of immunogens to overcome HIV-1 T-cell epitope diversity, identification of correlates of transmission risk in an HIV-1 efficacy trial, and mapping of the coevolution of HIV-1 founder envelope mutants in infected subjects with broad neutralizing antibodies, thereby defining broad neutralizing antibody developmental pathways. Despite these advances, a promising HIV-1 vaccine efficacy trial published in 2013 did not prevent infection, and the HIV-1 vaccine field is still years away from deployment of an effective vaccine. This review summarizes what some of the scientific advances have been, what roadblocks still remain, and what the most promising approaches are for progress in design of successful HIV-1 vaccine candidates.

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