Licensed vaccines against viral diseases generate antibodies that neutralize the infecting virus and protect against infection or disease. Similarly, an effective vaccine against HIV-1 will likely need to induce antibodies that prevent initial infection of host cells or that limit early events of viral dissemination. Such antibodies must target the surface envelope glycoproteins of HIV-1, which are highly variable in sequence and structure. The first subunit vaccines to enter clinical trails were safe and immunogenic but unable to elicit antibodies that neutralized most circulating strains of HIV-1. However, potent virus neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) can develop during the course of HIV-1 infection, and this is the type of antibody response that researchers seek to generate with a vaccine. Thus, current vaccine design efforts have focused on a more detailed understanding of these broadly neutralizing antibodies and their epitopes to inform the design of improved vaccines.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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