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A Generalized HIV Vaccine Design Strategy for Priming of Broadly Neutralizing Antibody Responses

By November 7, 2019November 12th, 2019No Comments

Vaccine induction of broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) remains a major challenge. Germline-targeting immunogens hold promise for initiating the induction of certain bnAb classes; yet for most bnAbs, a strong dependence on antibody heavy chain complementarity determining region 3 (HCDR3) is a major barrier. Exploiting ultra-deep human antibody sequencing data, we identified a diverse set of potential antibody precursors for a bnAb with dominant HCDR3 contacts. We then developed HIV envelope trimer-based immunogens that primed responses from rare bnAb-precursor B cells in a mouse model, and in ex-vivo screens bound a range of potential bnAb-precursor human naive B cells. Our repertoire-guided germline-targeting approach provides a framework for priming the induction of many HIV bnAbs, and could be applied to most HCDR3-dominant antibodies from other pathogens.