Targeting B-cell germlines and focusing affinity maturation: The next hurdles in HIV-1-vaccine development? Editorial Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • AIDS Vaccines
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • B-Lymphocytes
  • HIV Antibodies
  • HIV Infections
  • HIV-1


  • Vaccines that protect against viral infection usually elicit neutralizing antibodies, but HIV-1 vaccine candidates have failed to induce broad and potent such responses. Broadly active neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) do, however, slowly emerge in a minority of HIV-1-infected subjects; and passive immunization with bNAbs protects against viral acquisition in animal models of HIV-1 infection. New techniques have made it possible to interrogate human B cells and thereby to isolate highly potent bNAbs to uncharted epitope clusters. Furthermore, recent high-resolution structure determinations of near-native soluble envelope glycoprotein trimers in complex with different bNAbs reveal the molecular basis for neutralization. Such trimer structures may serve as blueprints for vaccine design. Here we discuss how a vaccine might bridge a reactivity gap from germline antibody to bNAb and simulate the intricate stimuli of affinity maturation that sometimes prevail in chronic infection.

publication date

  • January 2014



  • Editorial



  • eng

PubMed Central ID

  • PMC4141483

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1586/14760584.2014.894469

PubMed ID

  • 24606603

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 449

end page

  • 52


  • 13


  • 4