Passive immunization is an important tool to dissect the nature of protective immune responses. In the current funding period, we have provided proof-of-concept that combinations of human broadly reactive neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (brnmAbs) can completely protect neonatal rhesus monkeys from oral simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) infection, even as post-exposure prophylaxis. Our oral R5 SHIV challenge model has a dual function: 1) to determine protective epitopes using passive immunization with brnmAbs, and 2) to develop immunoprophylaxis for intrapartum HIV transmission and transmission via breast feeding.
The Specific Aims for the Merit Extension period are to: 1. Generate biologically relevant, R5-tropic SHIV strains carrying clade A or D env genes to represent clades prevalent in areas of the world with high HIV infection rates (we have already established a mucosal SHIV-clade C transmission model). R5 SHIV-clade A and SHIV-clade D viruses will be adapted to rhesus monkeys by rapid serial passage. We will take advantage of the optimized proviral backbones we created for our SHIV-clade C, which was engineered to contain additional NF?B sites in the proviral long terminal repeat (LTR) to boost viral replicative capacity in vivo. 2. Establish repeated low-dose oral challenge models in infant rhesus macaques with the R5 SHIV-clade A (or D) strains generated in Aim 1. 3. Isolate novel nmAbs through screening of Fab libraries obtained from bone marrow aspirates of monkeys with high-titer, cross-clade neutralizing antibody (nAb) responses, in collaboration with Dr. Dimiter Dimitrov. BrnmAbs will also be tested for anti-self reactivity. 4. Develop novel nmAb combinations for passive immunization in our neonatal primate/oral challenge model with R5 SHIVs.
In Aim 4 a, we will test whether novel brnmAbs can be combined to increase the potency of neutralization in vitro.
In Aim 4 b, we will evaluate such combinations in infant rhesus monkeys for safety and efficacy against oral challenge with R5 SHIV-clade A and SHIV-clade D viruses. Our experiments will not only contribute to important SHIV reagents for AIDS vaccine development, but also further understanding of neutralizing HIV-1 Env epitopes. As our track record shows, the neonatal monkey model has the proven capability of identifying protective nmAb epitopes. This information may be of vital importance for developing protective AIDS vaccines in the future. Lastly, if safety and efficacy profiles of our new nmAb combinations are acceptable, we may yet achieve our initial goal, the prevention of MTCT through passive immunization, possibly combined with active immunization in the future.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Method to Extend Research in Time (MERIT) Award (R37)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (NSS)
Program Officer
Voulgaropoulou, Frosso
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
United States
Zip Code
Courtney, Cynthia L; Ethun, Kelly F; Villinger, Francois et al. (2015) Massive occlusive thrombosis of the pulmonary artery in pigtailed macaques chronically infected with R5-tropic simian-human immunodeficiency virus. J Med Primatol 44:35-9
Sholukh, Anton M; Watkins, Jennifer D; Vyas, Hemant K et al. (2015) Defense-in-depth by mucosally administered anti-HIV dimeric IgA2 and systemic IgG1 mAbs: complete protection of rhesus monkeys from mucosal SHIV challenge. Vaccine 33:2086-95
Sholukh, Anton M; Byrareddy, Siddappa N; Shanmuganathan, Vivekanandan et al. (2014) Passive immunization of macaques with polyclonal anti-SHIV IgG against a heterologous tier 2 SHIV: outcome depends on IgG dose. Retrovirology 11:8
Zhou, Mingkui; Ruprecht, Ruth M (2014) Are anti-HIV IgAs good guys or bad guys? Retrovirology 11:109
Bachler, Barbara C; Humbert, Michael; Lakhashe, Samir K et al. (2013) Live-virus exposure of vaccine-protected macaques alters the anti-HIV-1 antibody repertoire in the absence of viremia. Retrovirology 10:63
Watkins, Jennifer D; Sholukh, Anton M; Mukhtar, Muhammad M et al. (2013) Anti-HIV IgA isotypes: differential virion capture and inhibition of transcytosis are linked to prevention of mucosal R5 SHIV transmission. AIDS 27:F13-20
Bachler, Barbara C; Humbert, Michael; Palikuqi, Brisa et al. (2013) Novel biopanning strategy to identify epitopes associated with vaccine protection. J Virol 87:4403-16
Zhang, Mei-Yun; Yuan, Tingting; Li, Jingjing et al. (2012) Identification and characterization of a broadly cross-reactive HIV-1 human monoclonal antibody that binds to both gp120 and gp41. PLoS One 7:e44241
Sholukh, Anton M; Mukhtar, Muhammad M; Humbert, Michael et al. (2012) Isolation of monoclonal antibodies with predetermined conformational epitope specificity. PLoS One 7:e38943
Watkins, Jennifer D; Diaz-Rodriguez, Juan; Siddappa, Nagadenahalli B et al. (2011) Efficiency of neutralizing antibodies targeting the CD4-binding site: influence of conformational masking by the V2 loop in R5-tropic clade C simian-human immunodeficiency virus. J Virol 85:12811-4

Showing the most recent 10 out of 25 publications