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Virology. 2007 Oct 10;367(1):175-86. Epub 2007 Jun 27.

Standardized assessment of NAb responses elicited in rhesus monkeys immunized with single- or multi-clade HIV-1 envelope immunogens.

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Division of Viral Pathogenesis, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, 330 Brookline Ave/RE-204, Boston, MA 02215, USA.


The genetic diversity of HIV-1 envelope glycoproteins (Env) remains a major obstacle to the development of an antibody-based AIDS vaccine. The present studies examine the breadth and magnitude of neutralizing antibody (NAb) responses in rhesus monkeys after immunization with DNA prime-recombinant adenovirus (rAd) boost vaccines encoding either single or multiple genetically distant Env immunogens, and subsequently challenged with a pathogenic simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV-89.6P). Using a standardized multi-tier panel of reference Env pseudoviruses for NAb assessment, we show that monkeys immunized with a mixture of Env immunogens (clades A, B, and C) exhibited a greater breadth of NAb activity against neutralization-sensitive Tier 1 viruses following both vaccination and challenge compared to monkeys immunized with a single Env immunogen (clade B or C). However, all groups of Env-vaccinated monkeys demonstrated only limited neutralizing activity against Tier 2 pseudoviruses, which are more characteristic of the neutralization sensitivity of circulating HIV-1. Notably, the development of a post-challenge NAb response against SHIV-89.6P was similar in monkeys receiving either clade B, clade C, or clade A+B+C Env immunogens, suggesting cross-clade priming of NAb responses. In addition, vaccines encoding Env immunogens heterologous to SHIV-89.6P primed for a rapid anamnestic NAb response following infection compared to vaccines lacking an Env component. These results show that DNA/rAd immunization with multiple diverse Env immunogens is a viable approach for enhancing the breadth of NAb responses against HIV-1, and suggest that Env immunogens can prime for anamnestic NAb responses against a heterologous challenge virus.

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