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Nature. 2011 Nov 30;481(7379):81-4. doi: 10.1038/nature10660.

Antibody-based protection against HIV infection by vectored immunoprophylaxis.

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  • 1Division of Biology, California Institute of Technology, 1200 East California Boulevard, Pasadena, California 91125, USA.

Abstract

Despite tremendous efforts, development of an effective vaccine against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has proved an elusive goal. Recently, however, numerous antibodies have been identified that are capable of neutralizing most circulating HIV strains. These antibodies all exhibit an unusually high level of somatic mutation, presumably owing to extensive affinity maturation over the course of continuous exposure to an evolving antigen. Although substantial effort has focused on the design of immunogens capable of eliciting antibodies de novo that would target similar epitopes, it remains uncertain whether a conventional vaccine will be able to elicit analogues of the existing broadly neutralizing antibodies. As an alternative to immunization, vector-mediated gene transfer could be used to engineer secretion of the existing broadly neutralizing antibodies into the circulation. Here we describe a practical implementation of this approach, which we call vectored immunoprophylaxis (VIP), which in mice induces lifelong expression of these monoclonal antibodies at high concentrations from a single intramuscular injection. This is achieved using a specialized adeno-associated virus vector optimized for the production of full-length antibody from muscle tissue. We show that humanized mice receiving VIP appear to be fully protected from HIV infection, even when challenged intravenously with very high doses of replication-competent virus. Our results suggest that successful translation of this approach to humans may produce effective prophylaxis against HIV.

PMID:
22139420
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3253190
Free PMC Article
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