Some HIV infected patients develop potent antibody responses against HIV, but it is not clear how often this happens, nor how it occurs. We have undertaken a systemic evaluation of HIV+ sera to find those with broad neutralizing activity, understand how breadth of neutralization occurs and to isolate antibodies from the cells of such patients. We have observed that about 20% have broadly neutralizing antibodies. Among this group, we selected those patients with the broadest antibody response and have collected PBMC in order to isolate monoclonal antibodies. Our methodology includes isolating memory B-cells that are HIV-1 specific, and performing single cell PCR to isolate IgG genes. The genes are then cloned and expressed as full IgGs. To date, these approaches have yielded several novel anti-HIV monoclonal antibodies including VRC01 and VRC02 that neutralize 90% of HIV-1 strains. We have also performed 454 deep sequencing to study the clonal relationships and lineage of mAbs in these individuals.

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