The genetic diversity of HIV-1 envelope glycoproteins (Env) remains a major obstacle to the development of an antibody-based AIDS vaccine. In prior studies, we examined 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. Using a standardized multi-tier panel of reference Env pseudoviruses for NAb assessment, we showed 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. Additional immunogenicity studies are evaluating vectors with new Env inserts and various forms of soluble Env proteins. New antigens, structure based design of known neutralizing epitopes, are being evaluated.

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Morner, Andreas; Douagi, Iyadh; Forsell, Mattias N E et al. (2009) Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 env trimer immunization of macaques and impact of priming with viral vector or stabilized core protein. J Virol 83:540-51
Forsell, Mattias N E; Dey, Barna; Morner, Andreas et al. (2008) B cell recognition of the conserved HIV-1 co-receptor binding site is altered by endogenous primate CD4. PLoS Pathog 4:e1000171